Subfamily: Chordopoxvirinae

Genus: Suipoxvirus


Distinguishing features

The Suipoxvirus genus includes one virus species, Swinepox virus, that includes swinepox virus. This virus has a worldwide distribution and causes a relatively mild, self-limiting, skin disease in adult pigs with lesions normally confined to the point of infection. Generalised disease and viraemia are not usually seen in adult animals. Disease can be more serious in young piglets where morbidity can reach 100%. Virus neutralizing antibodies are not usually detected. Mechanical transmission by arthropods (probably lice) is suspected. The host range of swinepox virus appears to be restricted to swine, and in vitro it also has a very narrow host range. Although rabbits can be infected intradermally, the infection is non-productive. There is no evidence that swinepox virus is zoonotic.


Virions are brick-shaped, about 300×250×200 nm and morphologically similar to the virions of orthopoxviruses. Nothing is known about the ether-sensitivity of infection in cell culture.

Genome organization and replication

The dsDNA genome is approximately 146 kbp, encoding a predicted 150 proteins; the G + C content is approximately 27.5%. The central core of the genome is colinear with that of vaccinia virus (genus Orthopoxvirus) between F9L and A38L and contains 106 genes including the 90 that are predicted to be conserved across the majority of mammalian chordopoxviruses. Of the predicted 150 proteins, 146 are recognised as homologues of other poxvirus proteins, the remaining 4 are of unknown function. Phylogenetic analyses place swinepox virus in a clade with members of the genera Capripoxvirus, Yatapoxvirus, Leporipoxvirus and Cervidpoxvirus, separate from the orthpoxviruses and the high G + C poxviruses (Afonso et al., 2002).

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.