Parapoxviruses cause skin diseases and consists of five species and three tentative species including bovine papular stomatitis virus (BPSV), contagious ecthyma virus or Parapoxvirus ovis (PPVO), parapoxvirus of red deer in New Zealand (PVNZ), pseudocowpox virus (PCPV), and squirrel parapoxvirus (SPPV), as well as the tentative species auzdyk disease virus, chamois contagious ecthyma virus, and sealpox
BPSV, bovine papular stomatitis virus; CPXV, cowpox virus; RPXV, rabbitpox virus; MPXV, monkeypox virus; ORFV, for virus; PCPXV, pseudocowpox virus; PVNZ, parapoxvirus of red deer in New Zealand; SPV, sealpox
virus; VARV, variola virus.
Sealpox is a zoonotic disease of seals and sea lions (pinnipeds) and can be a complication of animals undergoing rehabilitation (1-4).
Eight pinniped species are known to be susceptible to infection with sealpox viruses: Halichoerus grypus (gray seals), Phoca vitulina (harbor seals), P.
Animals infected with sealpox virus typically show development of firm skin nodules (1-3cm) on the head, neck, and thorax.
Sealpox viruses are tentatively classified in the genus Parapoxvirus (15), which comprises multiple species of virus that can infect humans.
Sealpox virus is likely transmitted to humans when broken skin comes into contact with virus shed from lesions (skin or oral) on infected pinnipeds.
To better understand the risks for sealpox virus infection in humans, we conducted a study of marine mammal workers at 11 marine mammal centers with rehabilitation capacity for species in North American waters; the objectives of the study were to ascertain the workers' knowledge of and experience with sealpox virus and to identify factors associated with sealpox virus outbreaks among pinnipeds in rehabilitation centers.
Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for potential risk factors (age, location, sex) associated with animals who had sealpox cases, where appropriate.