Plum pox, also known as sharka, is the most devastating viral disease of stone fruit from the genus Prunus. The disease is caused by the plum pox virus (PPV), and the different strains may infect a variety of stone fruit species including peaches, apricots, plums, nectarine, almonds, and sweet and tart cherries. Wild and ornamental species of Prunus may also become infected by some strains of the virus.
The virus is transmitted by aphids and by the transfer of infected plant material to new locations. Plum pox poses no danger to consumers, but it can ruin the marketability of stone fruit by causing acidity and deformities. The only way to manage the disease is to destroy all infected trees, which can cause significant economic losses.