Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


(veterinary medicine)
A virus disease of rabbits producing fever, skin lesions resembling myxomas, and mucoid swelling of mucous membranes.



an acute viral disease of rabbits characterized by conjunctivitis and formation of edematous-gelatinous tumors of subcutaneous tissue in the head and scrotum. Myxomatosis was discovered and described by G. Sanarelli in Uruguay in 1898. Cases have been reported in America and Australia; the disease was imported into Europe in 1952. Rabbits and hares are susceptible to the disease. The source of the causative agent is an infected animal. Biting arthropod insects (mosquitoes, fleas, sandflies) play the principal role in the spread of myxomatosis. The course of the disease is acute. The skin becomes edematous and gathers into folds, and the ears droop. The swelling of the eyes and the front part of the head gives diseased rabbits a characteristic “leonine look.” Mortality is 90–100 percent. There is no specific remedy for the disease. Recovery imparts permanent immunity.

Farms on which myxomatosis is discovered are declared infected. All diseased rabbits, as well as those rabbits suspected of having or transmitting the disease, are slaughtered, and their carcasses are burned. The meat of rabbits suspected of being infected is disinfected by boiling.

References in periodicals archive ?
M151R encodes Serp2, a serpin that specifically binds interleukin-1[beta]-converting enzyme (23) and is involved in the pathogenesis of myxomatosis (24).
Currently less than one in ten owners ensure their rabbit is vaccinated against myxomatosis, a devastating killer disease spread by biting insects, which appears to be on the increase.
PDSA senior veterinary surgeon Sean Wensley said: "The effects of the myxomatosis virus are very distressing to witness and are usually fatal.
Although quite successful at first, myxomatosis gradually became less effective, particularly in the country's dry rangelands.
For example, fleas are involved in the spread of potentially fatal myxomatosis, while ringworm can spread to humans.
Insiders say they had "heard lethal rabbit disease myxomatosis could be to blame, raising the possibility "of new rabbits bringing in the disease.
Victoria Sturgeon paid PS60 to have her four children's giant pedigree rabbits vaccinated against the killer disease myxomatosis.
FOR some years now vaccinations have been available for rabbits that protect against Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease but now a new vaccine is available which simplifies the process of protecting against these fatal diseases.
Thanks to the country who brought us the cuckoo clock and an extravagant army knife I've spent the last few days seriously depleting the rabbit stocks by administering my own brand of melt-in-the-mouth myxomatosis.
Frank's classic work on myxomatosis culminated in his classic 1948 paper (2).
Rabbits can suffer common health problems during warm weather, including diseases such as myxomatosis, which can often be fatal.
Rabbits need vaccinating against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease.