Fowlpox virus (FPV), also referred to as avian pox virus (APV) is of the genus Avipoxvirus which is within the Poxviridae family. APV affects a wide range of bird species (approximately 60 different species from 20 different families) both domestic and wild, worldwide. APV contains several similar virus strains that have the ability to infect several groups or species of birds and others are species-specific.
Outbreaks of APV are influenced by environmental conditions including temperature, humidity, moisture and protective cover. They are most commonly transmitted by biting insects, such as mosquitoes, mites, midges, and/or flies. The virus can also be transmitted directly by contact with infected and susceptible birds or by contact with contaminated objects, such as perches or feeders. Birds can also become infected by inhaling virus-laden dust. Any dust that contains contaminated particles of feathers, skin, or scabs can be highly infective.
Poxviruses can withstand extreme environmental conditions and can survive on perches and in dried scabs for months to years.