Camel Pox

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Selected content from the Animal Health and Production Compendium (© CAB International 2013). Distributed under license by African Union – Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources.

Whilst this information is provided by experts, we advise that users seek veterinary advice where appropriate and check OIE manuals for recent changes to regulations, diagnostic tests, vaccines and treatments.

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Identity    Pathogen/s    Overview    Distribution Map for Africa    Distribution Table for Africa    Host Animals    References    Links to Websites    OIE Reference Experts and Laboratories



Preferred Scientific Name
camel pox
International Common Names




camelpox virus




Camel pox is normally a fairly benign disease of camels. The signs include fever, facial oedema, pocks on the mucosa of the lips and lesions on the teats. Vesicles, then pustules form on the lips of affected animals, crust formation follows and the scabs eventually fall off. Young camels sometimes suffer generalized infection in which pocks form throughout the body and death may result.

Diagnosis is usually based on clinical findings. Differential diagnosis should consider sarcoptic mange and contagious ecthyma. Virus may be easily isolated from lesion scrapings. Crusts and scrapings should be analyzed by electron microscopy, virus isolation and the examination for mange mites. Affected tissue samples in 10% formalin should also be subjected to histopathological examination for intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies ( A commercial vaccine for camel pox is available.

Camel pox is a zoonosis and has been classified as a biohazardous agent.



Distribution Map for Africa

Distribution Map for AfricaDistribution Map for Africa

present, no further details = Present, no further details    widespread = Widespread    localised = Localised
confined and subject to quarantine = Confined and subject to quarantine    occasional or few reports = Occasional or few reports
evidence of pathogen = Evidence of pathogen    last reported = Last reported...    presence unconfirmed = Presence unconfirmed



 Distribution Table for Africa

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further information for individual references may be available in the Animal Health and Production Compendium. A table for worldwide distribution can also be found in the Animal Health and Production Compendium.

CountryDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferencesNotes
AlgeriaNo information available    OIE, 2009 
AngolaNo information available    OIE, 2009 
BeninNo information available    OIE, 2009 
BotswanaDisease never reported    OIE, 2009 
Burkina FasoNo information available    OIE, 2009 
ChadNo information available    OIE, 2009 
CongoNo information available    OIE, 2009 
DjiboutiNo information available    OIE, 2009 
EgyptNo information available    OIE, 2009 
EritreaDisease not reported    OIE, 2009 
EthiopiaNo information available    OIE, 2009 
GabonNo information available    OIE, 2009 
GambiaNo information available    OIE, 2009 
GhanaNo information available    OIE, 2009 
GuineaNo information available    OIE, 2009 
Guinea-BissauNo information available    OIE, 2009 
KenyaNo information available    OIE, 2009 
LesothoDisease never reported    OIE, 2009 
LibyaPresent, no further details    OIE, 2012 
MadagascarDisease never reported    OIE, 2009 
MalawiNo information available    OIE, 2009 
MaliNo information available    OIE, 2009 
MauritiusDisease never reported    OIE, 2009 
MoroccoDisease not reported    OIE, 2009 
MozambiqueDisease never reported    OIE, 2009 
NamibiaNo information available    OIE, 2009 
NigeriaNo information available    OIE, 2009 
RwandaNo information available    OIE, 2009 
SenegalNo information available    OIE, 2009 
SomaliaPresent, no further details    OIE, 2012 
South AfricaNo information available    OIE, 2009 
SudanDisease not reported    OIE, 2009 
SwazilandNo information available    OIE, 2009 
TanzaniaNo information available    OIE, 2009 
TogoNo information available    OIE, 2009 
TunisiaPresent    OIE, 2009 
UgandaDisease never reported    OIE, 2009 
ZambiaNo information available    OIE, 2009 
ZimbabweDisease never reported    OIE, 2009 



Host Animals

Animal name Context 
Camelus bactrianus (Bactrian camel) Domesticated host 
Camelus dromedarius (dromedary camel) Domesticated host 




African Union-Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources, 2011. Panafrican Animal Health Yearbook 2011. Pan African Animal Health Yearbook, 2011:xiii + 90 pp.

Bera BC, Shanmugasundaram K, Sanjay Barua, Venkatesan G, Nitin Virmani, Riyesh T, Gulati BR, Bhanuprakash V, Vaid RK, Kakker NK, Malik P, Manish Bansal, Gadvi S, Singh RV, Yadav V, Sardarilal, Nagarajan G, Balamurugan V, Hosamani M, Pathak KML, Singha RK, 2011. Zoonotic cases of camelpox infection in India. Veterinary Microbiology, 152(1/2):29-38.

Coetzer JAW, 2004. Poxviridae. In: Infectious Diseases of Livestock, 2 [ed. by Coetzer, J. A. W. \Tustin, R. C.]., Southern Africa: Oxford University Press, 1265-1267 pp.

Davies FG, Mungai JN, Shaw T, 1975. Characteristics of a Kenyan camelpox virus. Journal of Hygiene, 75(3):381-385.

Kritz B, 1982. A study of camelpox in Somalia. Journal of Comparative Pathology, 92:1-8.

OIE, 2009. World Animal Health Information Database - Version: 1.4. World Animal Health Information Database. Paris, France: World Organisation for Animal Health.

OIE, 2012. World Animal Health Information Database. Version 2. World Animal Health Information Database. Paris, France: World Organisation for Animal Health.

Pfeffer M, Neubauer H, Wernery U, Kaaden OR, Meyer H, 1998. Fatal form of camelpox virus infection. Veterinary Journal, 155(1):107-109.

Pfeffer M, Wernery U, Kaaden OR, Meyer H, 1998. Diagnostic procedures for poxvirus infections in camelids. Journal of Camel Practice and Research, 5(2):189-195.

Veerakyathappa Bhanuprakash, Manimuthu Prabhu, Gnanavel Venkatesan, Vinayagamurthy Balamurugan, Madhusudan Hosamani, Pathak KML, Singh RK, 2010. Camelpox: epidemiology, diagnosis and control measures. Expert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy, 8(10):1187-1201.

Wernery U, Kaaden OR, 2002. Camel pox. In: Infectious Diseases in Camelids, Second Edition [ed. by Wernery, U. \Kaaden, O. R.]. Vienna, Austria: Blackwell Science Berlin, 176-185 pp.

Wernery U, Kaaden OR, Ali M, 1997. Orthopox virus infections in dromedary camels in United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) during winter season. Journal of Camel Practice and Research, 4(1):51-55.

Wernery U, Meyer H, Pfeffer M, 1997. Camel pox in the United Arab Emirates and its prevention. In: Journal of Camel Practice and Research, 4(2). 135-139.



Links to Websites



OIE Reference Experts and Laboratories

(OIE Reference Experts and Laboratories, accessed 30 May 2013)

Prof. Ulrich Wernery
Central Veterinary Research Laboratory
P.O. Box 597
Tel: +971-4 337.51.65 Fax: +971-4 336.86.38
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Date of report: 30/05/2013

© CAB International 2013. Distributed under license by African Union – Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.