Outbreaks of myxomatosis in Egyptian domestic rabbit farms
Myxomatosis is an endemic infectious, severe and often fatal disease of rabbit caused by myxoma virus. In the present study, myxomatosis outbreaks were reported in 7 domestic rabbit farms in Egypt. Rabbits showed oedema of the eyelids, facial oedema and blepharoconjunctivitis. The morbidity and lethality rates were 18-100% and 20-80%, respectively. The myxomatosis diagnosis was based on histopathology, virus isolation on rabbit kidney cell line (RK-13), polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequence analysis. Histopathological examination revealed the presence of epidermal hyperplasia, dermal necrosis and intracytoplasmic eosinophilic inclusion bodies. The virus was isolated on RK-13 cells and induced cytopathic effect. Using PCR, a band of 471 base pair corresponding to the M071L gene was amplified from extracted DNA. Sequence alignment of four out of the 7 isolates revealed that these isolates were 98-99% identical to European and Australian rabbit myxoma reference viruses. In conclusion, rabbit myxomatosis outbreaks and virus isolation procedures are reported herein for the first time in Egypt. Preventive policies against disease circulation should be adopted by the national authorities.
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