The Orf virus (ORFV) is the causative agent of orf, a globally-occurring, acute, pustular, contagious disease affecting sheep, goats and humans with a worldwide distribution. Currently, the genomic analysis of four ORFV strains from the Fujian province in southern China and a NA1/11 strain isolated from the Jilin province in northeast China have been reported. However, little is known about the genomic information of ORFV strains from central China.
From a recent outbreak in a sheep herd in the Henan province of central China, a novel ORFV strain (HN3/12) was isolated and cultured in ovine fetal turbinate (OFTu) cells. The strain was identified as HN3/12 and verified by PCR based on the DNA sequences of 011 and 059 genes. The whole genomic sequence of this isolate was determined by Next Generation Sequencing technology. To determine the genetic characteristics of the HN3/12 strain, phylogenetic analysis of the 011 and 059 genes and amino acid sequence alignment of the HN3/12 strain were performed and compared with reference parapoxvirus strains.
The HN3/12 genome is 136,643 bp in length, contains 63.67% G + C and encodes 132 putative genes. Phylogenetic analysis of the 011 and 059 nucleotide sequences showed that this viral strain was similar to the NA1/11 isolate. The homology analysis indicates that HN3/12 has 93% to 98% identity with published ORFV strains at amino acid level. When open reading frames (ORFs) were aligned among the HN3/12 and four Fujian ORFV strains, most of them have identities greater than 90% and only a few less than 60%. The availability of the whole genomic sequence of HN3/12 aids in our understanding of, and provides new insights into, the genetic diversity of ORFV.