Roxan Grace C. Rubia, Aira D. Cuarteros, Willard Jeff T. Bassig, Gerly T. Zulueta, Judith Z. Tattao, Christine V. Mamauag, Jean Braian U. Bosito and Jomar Reuben A. Rueco


Orf or contagious ecthyma (CE) is a highly contagious and zoonotic viral disease of sheep and goats caused by a Parapoxvirus, the contagious pustular dermatitis virus (CPDV), contagious ecthyma virus (CEV) or orf virus (ORFV). The disease was observed in herd of sheep in Region 02 in 2017, hence to facilitate confirmatory diagnosis, conventional PCR assay that will detect ORFV using specific oligonucleotide primers were utilized. The virus was isolated in a scab of clinically affected animals from suspected CE outbreaks among sheep and goats in Region 02. Amplification of viral DNA was carried out using GIF/IL-2 and B2L gene specific primers and confirmed its identity by nucleotide sequencing. The virus isolated showed 98 to 100% nucleotide identity with reported CEV isolates in Genebank. A total of 529 samples were collected and screened for Orf by PCR. Results showed 67 animals (12.67% prevalence) were positive with ORFV. The study described the use of molecular assay for sensitive and confirmatory diagnosis of ORFV. Optimized PCR protocol will be used for confirmatory diagnosis and screening of Orf virus in the routine animal health program and for policy makers to formulate sound animal health program and disease surveillance.

Keywords:  Orf, contagious ecthyma virus (CEV), Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), GIF/IL-2 gene, B2L gene, diagnosis, surveillance

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