Subfamily: Chordopoxvirinae

Genus: Pteropopoxvirus


Distinguishing features

The Pteropopoxvirus genus includes a single species that includes a virus isolated from an Australian little red flying fox (Pteropus scapulatus) that had typical pox-like skin lesions, ranging from vesicular to nodular, on its wing membranes. The virus is distinct from other poxviruses isolated from bats on other continents. The clinical significance of these lesions in the wild is unknown. There is no evidence that pteropox virus is zoonotic.


Little is known about the virion as preparations of the skin lesions were negative for virus particles in electron microscopy and the virus could not be cultured in vitro.

Genome organization and replication

The dsDNA genome is approximately 134 kb, encoding 143 putative genes; the G + C content is approximately 34%. The central core of the genome is conserved and co-linear with the genome of other chordopoxviruses and all 90 of the genes conserved across the majority of the mammalian chordopoxvirus genera are present. Within the species-specific regions of the genome at either end are 29 genes that are generally unique within members of the family Poxviridae, having no counterparts in any public sequence database. The only exception is an apparent orthologue of a TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) which again is unique amongst poxviral apoptosis-inducing proteins (O'Dea et al., 2016). Phylogenetic analyses with the predicted amino-acid sequences of 7 genes conserved across members of the Chordopoxvirinae predict that pteropox virus clusters away from members of all other genera with the possible exception of sea otterpox virus (genus Mustelpoxvirus).

For replication please see discussion under family description.

Species demarcation criteria

There is only one species in the genus and therefore criteria have not been defined.