November 2016



Signalment:  (JPC #1848605):  Breed and age unspecified goat


MICROSCOPIC DESCRIPTION:  Mucocutaneous junction, lip (per contributor): Multifocally, there is epidermal hyperplasia with acanthosis (up to 10× normal thickness) and elongated, anastomosing rete ridges.  Multifocally within the stratum spinosum, keratinocytes are markedly swollen and often contain clear intracytoplasmic vacuoles (ballooning degeneration) and pyknotic nuclei. Multifocally, keratinocytes contain one or more 2-10um, round to oval, brightly eosinophilic intracytoplasmic viral inclusion bodies. Within the superficial stratum spinosum and stratum corneum, there is neutrophilic exocytosis and multifocal clusters of neutrophils admixed with cellular and karyorrhectic debris, and abundant serum (microabscesses).  There is minimal multifocal spongiosis of the epidermis.  Overlying the affected epidermis is mild erosion with replacement by a thick serocellular crust composed of keratin, protein fluid, degenerate neutrophils and numerous mixed bacteria.  Within the dermis there are numerous dilated small caliber blood vessels and lymphatics separated by clear space (edema), fibrin, and moderate numbers of perivascular neutrophils, histiocytes and lymphocytes.

MORPHOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS: Mucocutaneous junction, lip (per contributor):  Cheilitis, proliferative and erosive, focally extensive, moderate, with epithelial eosinophilic intracytoplasmic viral inclusion bodies, serocellular crust and intraepidermal microabscesses, breed unspecified, caprine.

ETIOLOGY:  Ovine parapoxvirus (orf virus)

ETIOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS:  Parapoxviral dermatitis

CONDITION:  Contagious ecthyma

SYNONYMS: Contagious pustular dermatitis, soremouth, orf (Old English for "rough"), infectious labial dermatitis, scabby mouth, lippengrind, farmyard pox (human)





Rarely, lesions may extend into the alimentary and respiratory tracts, causing severe gastroenteritis and bronchopneumonia



Gross lesions



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  8. Scott, DW. Viral and protozoal skin diseases. In: Color Atlas of Farm Animal Dermatology. Oxford, England:Blackwell Publishing Ltd; 2007:125-126.
  9. Tomaselli M, Dalton C, Duignan PJ, Kutz S, van der Meer F, Kafle P, Surujballi O, Turcotte C, Checkley S. Contagious ecthyma, rangiferine brucellosis, and lungworm infection in a muskox (Ovibos moschatus) from the Canadian Arctic, 2014. J Wildl Dis. 2016;52(3):719-24.
  10. Thurman RJ, Fitch RW. Images in clinical medicine. Contagious ecthyma. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(8):e12.
  11. Vikoren T, Lillehaug A, Akerstedt J, Bretten T, Haugum M, Tryland M. A severe outbreak of contagious ecthyma (orf) in a free-ranging musk ox (Ovibos moschatus) population in Norway. Vet Microbiol. 2008:127(1-2):10-20.

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