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Squirrelpox Virus

Creative Biolabs has been a world leader in virus-related product and drug development for decades. With extensive experience and advanced knowledge, we are focused on providing global clients with customized squirrelpox virus (SQPV) related product and drug development services to address challenges unique to SQPV.

Overview of Squirrelpox Virus

SQPV is a virus that causes the deadly disease squirrelpox in the United Kingdom red squirrels. The virus is commonly carried by gray squirrels, which rarely die from the disease. In red squirrels, the virus causes skin ulcers, lesions, and scabs. It is also accompanied by swelling near the eyes, mouth, feet, and genitals. It's worth noting that infected squirrels typically become increasingly lethargic as the disease progresses. The underlying mechanisms responsible for the pathogenicity of SQPV remain unclear, thus fully investigating the reasons for the different disease manifestations in these two species is a daunting and lengthy task.

Squirrelpox Virus Epidemiology and Mechanisms

Viruses carried by infected red squirrels can be released into the environment and may be beneficial for maintaining the infection. Individuals almost always die after infection. Viruses often encode proteins associated with the host immune system to evade host immunity to increase viral survival. Poxvirus-encoded virulence factors are closely linked to host immunity. SQPV is proposed to occupy a new taxonomic position within the chordopoxviruse subfamily, suggesting the possible existence of a new genus of poxviruses. The emergence of SQPV in red squirrels has sparked conversations about virus evolution and its host interactions. SQPV can be transferred between host species and has co-evolved mechanisms that result in low pathogenesis and virulence in grey squirrels but high virulence in red squirrels.

Squirrelpox Virus Detection and Therapeutics

Gray or red squirrel blood and tissue usually were used as experimental material to detect SQPV by various techniques. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) techniques determined seropositivity and the presence of viral DNA, respectively. Analysis of the presence or absence of viral DNA in saliva, feces, urine, and ectoparasites identified the possibility of viral transmission through urine. Notably, ectoparasites shared by both species may act as vectors. Fortunately, an injectable vaccine has been developed and has been shown to be effective against squirrelpox in laboratory tests. The development of a method to give red squirrels an oral vaccine in the wild has attracted a lot of attention.

SQPV phylogeny and genome structure. Fig.1 SQPV phylogeny and genome structure. (Darby, 2014)

With a first-class technology platform and professional scientific researchers, Creative Biolabs has always been committed to providing customers with the most satisfactory one-stop service for SQPV-related products and drug development. If you are interested in developing SQPV-related products and medicines, Creative Biolabs will be your best choice. Please feel free to contact us for more details.


  1. Darby, A. C.; et al. Novel host-related virulence factors are encoded by squirrelpox virus, the main causative agent of epidemic disease in red squirrels in the UK. PloS one. 2014, 9(7): e96439.

We DO NOT PROVIDE ANY PRODUCTS OR SERVICES DIRECTLY TO PATIENTS. All of our products are for Research Use Only (RUO), NOT intended for diagnostic, therapeutic, or clinical use.