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Zoologix performs avian and livestock PCR tests for...

Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae

African swine fever

Akabane virus

Alcelaphine herpesvirus

AMPKγ3R200Q mutation in pigs

Anaplasma phagocytophilum

Aspergillus fumigatus

Aspergillus species


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Avibacterium paragallinarum

Baylisascaris procyonis

Blood typing for swine

Bluetongue virus

Bordetella avium

Borna virus

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Bovine herpesvirus 4

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Bovine viral diarrhea type 1

Brachyspira pilosicoli


Cache Valley virus




Caprine arthritis-encephalitis (CAE) virus

Chlamydia/Chlamydophila genus

Chlamydophila psittaci

Classical swine fever






Coxiella burnetii



Ebola Reston

E. coli O157:h7



Enteric E. coli panel

Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae

Foot and mouth disease

Fowl adenovirus


Fusobacterium necrophorum

Hepatitis E

Herpes, avian


Infectious bronchitis

Infectious bursal disease

Infectious coryza

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Influenza type A

Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV)

Japanese encephalitis

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Johne's disease

Lawsonia intracellularis


Lumpy skin disease virus


Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF)


Mycobacterium avium and other Mycobacteria

Mycoplasma species

Mycoplasma suis

Newcastle disease virus

Nipah virus

Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale

Ovine herpesvirus 2

Pacheco's disease (psittacid herpesviruses)

Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV)

Pigeon circovirus

Plasmodium species

Porcine adenovirus

Porcine circovirus 1

Porcine circovirus 2

Porcine cytomegalovirus

Porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV)

Porcine enterovirus

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus

Porcine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis

Porcine hemorrhagic enteropathy

Porcine intestinal adenomatosis

Porcine lymphotropic herpesvirus

Porcine parvovirus

Porcine reproductive & respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus

Porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV)

Porcine transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV)

Poultry respiratory panel



Psittacine beak and feather disease

Psittacine herpes

Q fever



Rift Valley fever virus

Rinderpest virus

RyR1 R615C mutation in pigs


Staphylococcus xylosus

St. Louis encephalitis



Swine vesicular disease

Taenia solium

Teschovirus (Teschen-Talfan disease)

Tickborne encephalitis virus

Trichinella spiralis



Valley fever

Vesicular exanthema of swine

Vesicular stomatitis

Wesselsbron virus

West Nile virus

Yersinia enterocolitica

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

...and more -- see the avian & livestock test menu for a complete listing of avian and livestock assays.

Fowlpox PCR test
avian & livestock assay data sheet


Test code: S0158
- Ultrasensitive detection of fowlpox virus by real time PCR


Fowlpox is a slow-spreading viral infection of birds that occurs worldwide.  It is characterized by proliferative skin lesions (in the cutaneous form) that progress to thick scabs. The infection may also cause lesions in the upper gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts (in the diphtheritic form).

Fowlpox virus is a DNA avipoxvirus belonging to the family Poxviridae. It also goes by the common names avian pox, canarypox, juncopox, mynahpox, pigeonpox, psittacinepox, quailpox, sparrowpox, starlingpox, and turkeypox (USDA website, 2023). The virus is highly resistant and may survive for several years in dried scabs. The virus can be present in large numbers in lesions. Transmission of the virus can be through contact with abrasions of the skin; skin lesions and scabs shed from recovering birds in poultry houses are an important source of aerosol infection. Insects such as mosquitos and biting flies may serve as mechanical vectors, and the infection can spread rapidly where mosquitos are plentiful (Hess et al., 2011). Some affected birds may become asymptomatic carriers, and the disease may be reactivated by stress (eg, moulting) or during immunosuppression due to other infections. The disease tends to persist for extended periods among flocks.

The cutaneous form of fowlpox infection is characterized by nodular lesions, for example on various parts of the unfeathered skin of chickens and on the head and upper neck of turkeys. Generalized lesions of feathered skin may also be seen. The diphtheritic form of fowlpox infection involves lesions on the mucous membranes of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, and trachea. In either form of the disease, decreased performance in weight gain and egg laying are expected.

Fowlpox infection has been diagnosed by viral isolation but this method is slow and has low sensitivity. Serological methods may also be used to determine the infection, but since many birds have been previously exposed to this virus, serology may not be very useful. However, PCR can provide rapid, sensitive and specific detection of the virus.


  • Help confirm the disease causing agent
  • Identify fowlpox carriers
  • Screen research materials for the presence of fowlpox
  • Help ensure that flocks are free of fowlpox
  • Early prevention of spread of the virus among birds
  • Minimize human exposure to the virus
  • Safety monitoring of biological products that derive from susceptible birds

Hess, C., Maegdefrau-Pollan, B., Bilic, I., Liebhart, D., Richter, S., Mitsch, P. and Hess, M. (2011) Outbreak of cutaneous form of poxvirus on a commercial turkey farm caused by the species fowlpox.  Avian Dis. 55:714-8.
USDA website:  https://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/terrestrial/pathogens-and-diseases/fowlpox

Specimen requirements: 0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) tube, or 0.2 ml cell culture, or lesion swab or scab, or oral swab, or 0.2 ml tissue.

Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.

For all specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain frozen in transit. See shipping instructions for more information.

Turnaround time: 2 business days

Methodology: Qualitative real time PCR

Normal range: Nondetected

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