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    Sexual and vegetative propagation of the medicinal Mexican species Phyllonoma laticuspis (Phyllonomaceae).
    Rev Biol Trop 2017 Mar;65(1):9-19
    Phyllonoma laticuspis leaves are used in Carrizal de Bravo, Guerrero, Mexico, to heal skin lesions such as injuries and smallpox sequelae and to treat diabetes mellitus type 2, and organic extracts of these leaves have been reported to exert antibacterial effects. High demand of P. laticuspis as a medicinal plant has decreased its natural populations, and propagation of the species has not yet been reported. Read More

    Myocarditis and pericarditis are rare following live viral vaccinations in adults.
    Vaccine 2018 Feb 15. Epub 2018 Feb 15.
    Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, 3800 N. Interstate Ave., Portland, OR 97227, USA.
    Reports of myocarditis and pericarditis following smallpox vaccination in adults suggested a need to assess inflammatory cardiac disease risk among adults who receive live viral vaccinations. From 1996 through 2007, among 416,629 vaccinated adults in the Vaccine Safety Datalink, we identified one probable pericarditis case and no cases of myocarditis in the 42 days following a live viral vaccination. Our self-controlled risk interval analysis found that, based on one case identified during the risk interval and 10 cases during the control interval, there is no increased risk of myopericarditis in the 42 days following vaccination (IRR, 0. Read More

    BAYESIAN RECONSTRUCTION OF THE EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY AND CROSS-SPECIES TRANSITION OF VARIOLA VIRUS AND ORTHOPOXVIRUSES.
    J Med Virol 2018 Feb 15. Epub 2018 Feb 15.
    Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences "Luigi Sacco", University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
    Variola virus (VARV), the causative agent of smallpox, is an exclusively human virus belonging to the genus Orthopoxvirus, which includes many other viral species covering a wide range of mammal hosts, such as vaccinia, cowpox, camelpox, taterapox, ectromelia and monkeypox virus. The tempo and mode of evolution of Orthopoxviruses were reconstructed using a Bayesian phylodynamic framework by analysing 80 hemagglutinin sequences retrieved from public databases. Bayesian phylogeography was used to estimate their putative ancestral hosts. Read More

    Phage display antibodies against ectromelia virus that neutralize variola virus: Selection and implementation for p35 neutralizing epitope mapping.
    Antiviral Res 2018 Feb 7;152:18-25. Epub 2018 Feb 7.
    Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia. Electronic address:
    In this study, five phage display antibodies (pdAbs) against ectromelia virus (ECTV) were selected from vaccinia virus (VACV)-immune phage-display library of human single chain variable fragments (scFv). ELISA demonstrated that selected pdAbs could recognize ECTV, VACV, and cowpox virus (CPXV). Atomic force microscopy visualized binding of the pdAbs to VACV. Read More

    The synthesis of a smart streptavidin-functionalized poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) composite and its application in the separation and detection of virus nucleic acid.
    Talanta 2018 May 22;181:73-79. Epub 2017 Dec 22.
    Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Biology and Medicine (Ministry of Education), College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China. Electronic address:
    A new kind of polymeric material (PNIPAAm-co-SA) was prepared by conjugating a thermosensitive polymer, Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) with streptavidin (SA). This smart prepared composite displayed a controllable conformation change between an expanded and a collapsed form, below or above its lower critical solution temperature (LCST). Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis demonstrated that the PNIPAAm-co-SA bioconjugate showed the same LCST as the original synthetic polymer, PNIPAAm, which was also 32°C. Read More

    How Valid Are Assumptions About Re-emerging Smallpox? A Systematic Review of Parameters Used in Smallpox Mathematical Models.
    Mil Med 2018 Feb 7. Epub 2018 Feb 7.
    School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
    Background: Globally eradicated in 1980, smallpox is listed as a category A bioterrorism agent. If smallpox were to re-emerge, it may be due to an act of bioterrorism or a laboratory accident, and the impact is likely to be severe. Preparedness against smallpox is subject to more uncertainty than other infectious diseases because it is eradicated, there is uncertainty about population immunity, and the current global health workforce has no practical experience or living memory of smallpox. Read More

    Genital Autoinoculation with Vaccinia: A Look at Two Cases.
    Mil Med 2018 Feb 5. Epub 2018 Feb 5.
    Department of OB/GYN, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, 620 John Paul Jones Circle, Portsmouth, VA 23708.
    Introduction: Smallpox, or vaccinia, has been eradicated worldwide as a disease; however, it may be weaponized and is thus a required immunization when military members deploy to certain parts of the world.

    Materials And Methods: We report two unusual cases of genital autoinoculation following smallpox vaccination.

    Results: Both patients' lesions resolved without sequelae within 20 d. Read More

    Ghosts of infections past: using archival samples to understand a century of monkeypox virus prevalence among host communities across space and time.
    R Soc Open Sci 2018 Jan 31;5(1):171089. Epub 2018 Jan 31.
    Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
    Infectious diseases that originate from multiple wildlife hosts can be complex and problematic to manage. A full understanding is further limited by large temporal and spatial gaps in sampling. However, these limitations can be overcome, in part, by using historical samples, such as those derived from museum collections. Read More

    Assessing the Importance of Domestic Vaccine Manufacturing Centers: An Overview of Immunization Programs, Vaccine Manufacture, and Distribution.
    Front Immunol 2018 18;9:26. Epub 2018 Jan 18.
    Millennium Institute on Immunology and Immunotherapy, Departamento de Genética Molecular y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
    Vaccines have significantly reduced the detrimental effects of numerous human infectious diseases worldwide, helped to reduce drastically child mortality rates and even achieved eradication of major pathogens, such as smallpox. These achievements have been possible due to a dedicated effort for vaccine research and development, as well as an effective transfer of these vaccines to public health care systems globally. Either public or private institutions have committed to developing and manufacturing vaccines for local or international population supply. Read More

    Devastating epidemics in recent ages Greek populations.
    Acta Med Hist Adriat 2017 Dec;15(2):283-290
    Pharmacy Department, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens - Aretaieio University Hospital, Athens, Greece.
    In the recent Greek ages the most devastating epidemics were plague, smallpox, leprosy and cholera. In 1816 plague struck the Ionian and Aegean Islands, mainland Greece, Constantinople and Smyrna. The Venetians ruling the Ionian Islands effectively combated plague in contrast to the Ottomans ruling all other regions. Read More

    Challenges and Achievements in Prevention and Treatment of Smallpox.
    Vaccines (Basel) 2018 Jan 29;6(1). Epub 2018 Jan 29.
    Department of Infectious Diseases, Israel Institute for Biological Research, P.O. Box 19, Ness-Ziona 74100, Israel.
    Declaration of smallpox eradication by the WHO in 1980 led to discontinuation of the worldwide vaccination campaign. The increasing percentage of unvaccinated individuals, the existence of its causative infectious agent variola virus (VARV), and the recent synthetic achievements increase the threat of intentional or accidental release and reemergence of smallpox. Control of smallpox would require an emergency vaccination campaign, as no other protective measure has been approved to achieve eradication and ensure worldwide protection. Read More

    Global ubiquitination analysis reveals extensive modification and proteasomal degradation of cowpox virus proteins, but preservation of viral cores.
    Sci Rep 2018 Jan 29;8(1):1807. Epub 2018 Jan 29.
    Robert Koch Institute, Centre for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens: Highly Pathogenic Viruses (ZBS 1), Berlin, 13353, Germany.
    The emergence of Variola virus-like viruses by natural evolution of zoonotic Orthopoxviruses, like Cowpox virus (CPXV), is a global health threat. The proteasome is essential for poxvirus replication, making the viral components interacting with the ubiquitin-proteasome system attractive antiviral targets. We show that proteasome inhibition impairs CPXV replication by prevention of uncoating, suggesting that uncoating is mediated by proteasomal degradation of viral core proteins. Read More

    Construction of an infectious horsepox virus vaccine from chemically synthesized DNA fragments.
    PLoS One 2018 19;13(1):e0188453. Epub 2018 Jan 19.
    Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology and Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
    Edward Jenner and his contemporaries believed that his variolae vaccinae originated in horses and molecular analyses show that modern vaccinia virus (VACV) strains share common ancestry with horsepox virus (HPXV). Given concerns relating to the toxicity of modern VACV vaccines, we asked whether an HPXV-based vaccine might provide a superior alternative. Since HPXV may be extinct and the only specimen of HPXV that has been identified is unavailable for investigation, we explored whether HPXV could be obtained by large-scale gene synthesis. Read More

    40 Years without Smallpox.
    Acta Naturae 2017 Oct-Dec;9(4):4-12
    State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR, Koltsovo, Novosibirsk region, 630559 , Russia.
    The last case of natural smallpox was recorded in October, 1977. It took humanity almost 20 years to achieve that feat after the World Health Organization had approved the global smallpox eradication program. Vaccination against smallpox was abolished, and, during the past 40 years, the human population has managed to lose immunity not only to smallpox, but to other zoonotic orthopoxvirus infections as well. Read More

    Immunotherapy of cancer: targeting cancer during active disease or during dormancy?
    Immunotherapy 2017 Sep;9(11):943-949
    School of Medicine, Massey Cancer Center, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.
    Immunotherapeutic targeting of advanced stage cancers has prolonged the survival of cancer patients, yet its curative efficacy is limited due to tumor immunoediting and escape. On the other hand, human vaccines have been able to eradicate smallpox and control several other infectious diseases. The success has resulted from the administration of vaccines in prophylactic settings, or during latency periods in order to protect an individual during future exposure to the disease rather than curing an established disease. Read More

    Addressing Children's Needs in Disasters: A Regional Pediatric Tabletop Exercise.
    Disaster Med Public Health Prep 2018 Jan 15:1-5. Epub 2018 Jan 15.
    4U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities,Division of Human Development and Disability,Atlanta,Georgia.
    Objective: Preparing and responding to the needs of children during public health emergencies continues to be challenging. The purpose of this study was to assess the usefulness of a tabletop exercise in initiating pediatric preparedness strategies and assessing the impact of the exercise on participants' understanding of and confidence in their roles during pediatric public health emergencies.

    Methods: A tabletop exercise was developed to simulate a public health emergency scenario involving smallpox in a child, with subsequent spread to multiple states. Read More

    TheInhibitory Effect of Ectromelia Virus Infection on Innate and Adaptive Immune Properties of GM-CSF-Derived Bone Marrow Cells Is Mouse Strain-Independent.
    Front Microbiol 2017 19;8:2539. Epub 2017 Dec 19.
    Department of Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.
    Ectromelia virus (ECTV) belongs to thegenus of thefamily and is a natural pathogen of mice. Certain strains of mice are highly susceptible to ECTV infection and develop mousepox, a lethal disease similar to smallpox of humans caused by variola virus. Currently, the mousepox model is one of the available small animal models for investigating pathogenesis of generalized viral infections. Read More

    Vaccinations in Primary Care.
    Indian J Pediatr 2018 Jan 6. Epub 2018 Jan 6.
    Department of Pediatrics, Ankur Institute of Child Health, Behind City Gold Cinema, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, 380009, India.
    Vaccination is amongst the best strategies to improve child survival and reduce morbidity. Vaccines represent the most cost effective and simple intervention to protect against distressing epidemics. There are mortality and morbidity related benefits derived from preventing infectious diseases through vaccination; these include financial benefits by avoiding hospitalization, preventing long-term disability and increased productivity. Read More

    The paradox of HBV evolution as revealed from a 16th century mummy.
    PLoS Pathog 2018 Jan 4;14(1):e1006750. Epub 2018 Jan 4.
    McMaster Ancient DNA Centre, Department of Anthropology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.
    Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a ubiquitous viral pathogen associated with large-scale morbidity and mortality in humans. However, there is considerable uncertainty over the time-scale of its origin and evolution. Initial shotgun data from a mid-16th century Italian child mummy, that was previously paleopathologically identified as having been infected with Variola virus (VARV, the agent of smallpox), showed no DNA reads for VARV yet did for hepatitis B virus (HBV). Read More

    E3L and F1L Gene Functions Modulate the Protective Capacity of Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara Immunization in Murine Model of Human Smallpox.
    Viruses 2018 Jan 4;10(1). Epub 2018 Jan 4.
    Lehrstuhl für Virologie, Institut für Infektionsmedizin und Zoonosen, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 80539 Munich, Germany.
    The highly attenuated Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) lacks most of the known vaccinia virus (VACV) virulence and immune evasion genes. Today MVA can serve as a safety-tested next-generation smallpox vaccine. Yet, we still need to learn about regulatory gene functions preserved in the MVA genome, such as the apoptosis inhibitor genesand. Read More

    Long-lived plasma cells in human bone marrow can be either CD19or CD19.
    Blood Adv 2017 May 19;1(13):835-838. Epub 2017 May 19.
    Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Biomedicine, and.
    Long-lived plasma cells secreting vaccinia-specific antibodies are detected in human bone marrow >35 years after the eradication of smallpox.Long-lived plasma cells secreting vaccinia-specific antibodies are still able to express the B-lymphocyte antigen CD19. Read More

    Challenges to global measles eradication: is it all in the timing?
    Pan Afr Med J 2017 21;27(Suppl 3):11. Epub 2017 Jun 21.
    African Field Epidemiology Network, Lugogo House, Plot 42, Lugogo By-pass, P.O. Box 12874 Kampala, Uganda.
    The case for global eradication of measles was first made in 1982. Since then, technical aspects of measles eradication have concluded that measles satisfied all criteria required for eradication. To date, only smallpox, among human diseases, has been eradicated, with polio, the next eradication candidate. Read More

    The French Armed Forces Virology Unit: A Chronological Record of Ongoing Research on Orthopoxvirus.
    Viruses 2017 Dec 23;10(1). Epub 2017 Dec 23.
    Unité de virologie, Centre National de Référence-Laboratoire Expert Orthopoxvirus, Institut de Recherche Biomédicale des Armées, 91220 Brétigny-sur-Orge, France.
    Since the official declaration of smallpox eradication in 1980, the general population vaccination has ceased worldwide. Therefore, people under 40 year old are generally not vaccinated against smallpox and have no cross protection against orthopoxvirus infections. This naïve population may be exposed to natural or intentional orthopoxvirus emergences. Read More

    Vaccination marketing by private healthcare sector: glaring malpractices.
    Indian J Med Ethics 2017 Dec 21;-(-). Epub 2017 Dec 21.
    Consultant Pediatrician, Mangla Hospital and Research Center, Shakti Chowk, Bijnor-246 701, Uttar Pradesh, India.,
    The editorial by Jesani and Johari in this journal raises some contentious yet relevant ethical issues pertaining to vaccination practices in India. Vaccination is one of the most important preventive measures against infectious diseases. The eradication of smallpox in the 70s and near eradication of polio are testimony to this. Read More

    Disaster Preparedness: Biological Threats and Treatment Options.
    Pharmacotherapy 2018 Feb 5;38(2):217-234. Epub 2018 Jan 5.
    Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey.
    Biological disasters can be natural, accidental, or intentional. Biological threats have made a lasting impact on civilization. This review focuses on agents of clinical significance, bioterrorism, and national security, specifically Category A agents (anthrax, botulism, plague, tularemia, and smallpox), as well as briefly discusses other naturally emerging infections of public health significance, Ebola virus (also a Category A agent) and Zika virus. Read More

    Does smallpox vaccination modify HIV disease progression among ART-naive people living with HIV in Africa?
    Epidemiol Infect 2018 Jan 13;146(2):218-226. Epub 2017 Dec 13.
    Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia,Banjul,Gambia.
    We examined the association between a history of smallpox vaccination and immune activation (IA) in a population of antiretroviral therapy-naïve people living with HIV (PLHIV). A cross-sectional study was conducted in Senegal from July 2015 to March 2017. Smallpox vaccination was ascertained by the presence of smallpox vaccine scar and IA by the plasma level of β-2-microglobulin (β2m). Read More

    Protection of Mice from Lethal Vaccinia Virus Infection by Vaccinia Virus Protein Subunits with a CpG Adjuvant.
    Viruses 2017 Dec 9;9(12). Epub 2017 Dec 9.
    Chemical, Biological & Radiological Division, Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury SP4 0JQ, UK.
    Smallpox vaccination carries a high risk of adverse events in recipients with a variety of contra-indications for live vaccines. Although alternative non-replicating vaccines have been described in the form of replication-deficient vaccine viruses, DNA vaccines, and subunit vaccines, these are less efficacious than replicating vaccines in animal models. DNA and subunit vaccines in particular have not been shown to give equivalent protection to the traditional replicating smallpox vaccine. Read More

    Improving the Care and Treatment of Monkeypox Patients in Low-Resource Settings: Applying Evidence from Contemporary Biomedical and Smallpox Biodefense Research.
    Viruses 2017 Dec 12;9(12). Epub 2017 Dec 12.
    US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Poxvirus and Rabies Branch, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA.
    Monkeypox is a smallpox-like illness that can be accompanied by a range of significant medical complications. To date there are no standard or optimized guidelines for the clinical management of monkeypox (MPX) patients, particularly in low-resource settings. Consequently, patients can experience protracted illness and poor outcomes. Read More

    US State Public Health Departments Special Pathogen Planning.
    J Public Health Manag Pract 2017 Dec 7. Epub 2017 Dec 7.
    Departments of Environmental, Agricultural & Occupational Health (Ms Herstein and Dr Lowe) and Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases (Dr Hewlett) and College of Medicine (Ms Jelden), University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska; Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of Emergency Preparedness, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Biddinger); Department of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Biddinger); Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Indiana University School of Public Health, Bloomington, Indiana (Dr Gibbs and Ms Le); and Nebraska Biocontainment Unit, Omaha, Nebraska (Drs Hewlett and Lowe).
    Context: US state public health departments played key roles in planning for and responding to confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) during the 2014-2016 outbreak, including designating select hospitals as high-level isolation units (HLIUs) for EVD treatment in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Objective: To identify existing guidelines and perspectives of state health departments pertaining to the management and transport of patients with EVD and other highly hazardous communicable diseases (HHCDs).

    Design: An electronic 8-question survey with subquestions was administered as a fillable PDF. Read More

    Development of a SYBR Green I real-time PCR for detection and quantitation of orthopoxvirus by using Ectromelia virus.
    Mol Cell Probes 2017 Dec 7. Epub 2017 Dec 7.
    State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Etiological Biology, Key Laboratory of Veterinary Public Health of Agriculture Ministry, Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu Province, 730046, PR China. Electronic address:
    Ectromelia virus (ECTV) is the causative agent of mousepox, which has devastating effects in laboratory-mouse colonies and causes economic loss in biomedical research. More importantly, ECTV has been extensively used as an excellent model for studies of the pathogenesis and immunobiology of human smallpox. A rapid and sensitive SYBR Green I-based real-time PCR assay was developed and used for the detection and quantitation of orthopoxvirus by using ECTV in this study. Read More

    Two Distinct Clinical Courses of Human Cowpox, Germany, 2015.
    Viruses 2017 Dec 7;9(12). Epub 2017 Dec 7.
    Department of Viruses and Intracellular Agents, Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, 80937 Munich, Germany.
    Here we present two cases of human infection with cowpox virus with distinct clinical courses. A series of clinical photographs documents lesion progression over time. In the first case-an unvaccinated young veterinary assistant-a pustule was treated locally with cortisone. Read More

    Suppression of Poxvirus Replication by Resveratrol.
    Front Microbiol 2017 17;8:2196. Epub 2017 Nov 17.
    Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, United States.
    Poxviruses continue to cause serious diseases even after eradication of the historically deadly infectious human disease, smallpox. Poxviruses are currently being developed as vaccine vectors and cancer therapeutic agents. Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol stilbenoid found in plants that has been shown to inhibit or enhance replication of a number of viruses, but the effect of resveratrol on poxvirus replication is unknown. Read More

    Dynamics of Pathological and Virological Findings During Experimental Calpox Virus Infection of Common Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus).
    Viruses 2017 Nov 28;9(12). Epub 2017 Nov 28.
    Pathology Unit, German Primate Center (DPZ), Kellnerweg 4, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.
    Experimental intranasal infection of marmosets () with calpox virus results in fatal disease. Route and dose used for viral inoculation of the test animals mimics the natural transmission of smallpox, thus representing a suitable model to study pathogenesis and to evaluate new vaccines against orthopoxvirus infection. However, the pathogenic mechanisms leading to death are still unclear. Read More

    Bioluminescence imaging of a tumor-selective, thymidine kinase-defective vaccinia virus Guang9 strain after intratumoral or intraperitoneal administration in mice.
    Oncotarget 2017 Oct 8;8(51):88708-88718. Epub 2017 Sep 8.
    Key Laboratory of Nuclear Medicine, Ministry of Health, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Molecular Nuclear Medicine, Jiangsu Institute of Nuclear Medicine, Wuxi, Jiangsu, China.
    Vaccinia virus has been used as an oncolytic virus because of its capacity to preferentially infect tumors rather than normal tissues. The vaccinia Tian Tan strain, used as a vaccine against smallpox for millions of people in China, is a promising candidate for cancer therapy. In this study, we constructed an attenuated Tian Tan strain of Guang9 with a disrupted thymidine kinase gene to enhance tumor selectivity and an inserted firefly luciferase to monitor the viral distribution bybioluminescence imaging. Read More

    The Threat of Synthetic Smallpox: European Perspectives.
    Health Secur 2017 Nov/Dec;15(6):582-586. Epub 2017 Nov 27.
    This article explores how advances in synthetic biology, and the potential threat of deliberately recreating and spreading smallpox, are affecting the multilateral debate on the remaining variola virus stocks. It draws on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 10 high-profile, European-based experts in biosecurity and synthetic biology. Four overarching themes affecting the retention or destruction debate are discussed, relating to biosecurity, dangerous knowledge, accidental releases, and eradication. Read More

    Vaccinia Virus Natural Infections in Brazil: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
    Viruses 2017 Nov 15;9(11). Epub 2017 Nov 15.
    Laboratório de Vírus, Departamento de Microbiologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 31270-901, Brazil.
    The orthopoxviruses (OPV) comprise several emerging viruses with great importance to human and veterinary medicine, including vaccinia virus (VACV), which causes outbreaks of bovine vaccinia (BV) in South America. Historically, VACV is the most comprehensively studied virus, however, its origin and natural hosts remain unknown. VACV was the primary component of the smallpox vaccine, largely used during the smallpox eradication campaign. Read More

    Equination (inoculation of horsepox): An early alternative to vaccination (inoculation of cowpox) and the potential role of horsepox virus in the origin of the smallpox vaccine.
    Vaccine 2017 Dec 11;35(52):7222-7230. Epub 2017 Nov 11.
    Centre for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens 1 - Highly Pathogenic Viruses & German Consultant Laboratory for Poxviruses & WHO Collaborating Centre for Emerging Infections and Biological Threats, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany.
    For almost 150 years after Edward Jenner had published the "Inquiry" in 1798, it was generally assumed that the cowpox virus was the vaccine against smallpox. It was not until 1939 when it was shown that vaccinia, the smallpox vaccine virus, was serologically related but different from the cowpox virus. In the absence of a known natural host, vaccinia has been considered to be a laboratory virus that may have originated from mutational or recombinational events involving cowpox virus, variola viruses or some unknown ancestral Orthopoxvirus. Read More

    Structure-function characterization of three human antibodies targeting the vaccinia virus adhesion molecule D8.
    J Biol Chem 2018 Jan 9;293(1):390-401. Epub 2017 Nov 9.
    From the Divisions of Cell Biology,
    Vaccinia virus (VACV) envelope protein D8 is one of three glycosaminoglycan adhesion molecules and binds to the linear polysaccharide chondroitin sulfate (CS). D8 is also a target for neutralizing antibody responses that are elicited by the smallpox vaccine, which has enabled the first eradication of a human viral pathogen and is a useful model for studying antibody responses. However, to date, VACV epitopes targeted by human antibodies have not been characterized at atomic resolution. Read More

    Hazard Characterization of Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara Vector: What Are the Knowledge Gaps?
    Viruses 2017 Oct 29;9(11). Epub 2017 Oct 29.
    Molecular Inflammation Research Group, Institute of Medical Biology, University i Tromsø (UiT)-The Arctic University of Norway, N-9037 Tromso, Norway.
    Modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is the vector of choice for human and veterinary applications due to its strong safety profile and immunogenicity in vivo. The use of MVA and MVA-vectored vaccines against human and animal diseases must comply with regulatory requirements as they pertain to environmental risk assessment, particularly the characterization of potential adverse effects to humans, animals and the environment. MVA and recombinant MVA are widely believed to pose low or negligible risk to ecosystem health. Read More

    Validation of a pan-orthopox real-time PCR assay for the detection and quantification of viral genomes from nonhuman primate blood.
    Virol J 2017 Nov 3;14(1):210. Epub 2017 Nov 3.
    Division of Medicine, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, 1425 Porter Street, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD, 21702-5011, USA.
    Background: In 1980, smallpox disease was eradicated from nature and Variola virus, the etiological agent of smallpox, was confined to two laboratories, one located in Russia (Moscow) later moved to VECTOR (Novosibirsk, Siberia) and one in the United States (CDC Atlanta). Vaccinations among the general public ceased shortly after the successful eradication campaign, resulting in an increasingly immunologically susceptible population. Because of the possibility of intentional reintroduction of Variola virus and the emergence of other pathogenic poxviruses, there is a great need for the development of medical countermeasures to treat poxvirus disease. Read More

    Biosecurity Implications for the Synthesis of Horsepox, an Orthopoxvirus.
    Health Secur 2017 Nov/Dec;15(6):629-637. Epub 2017 Nov 1.
    Diane DiEuliis, PhD, is Senior Research Fellow, Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction, National Defense University, Washington, DC. Kavita Berger, PhD, is a Scientist, Gryphon Scientific, LLC, Takoma Park, MD. Gigi Gronvall, PhD, is a Senior Associate, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Baltimore, MD.
    This article examines the biosecurity and biodefense implications resulting from the recent creation of horsepox virus, a noncirculating (extinct) species of orthopoxvirus. Here we examine the technical aspects of the horsepox virus synthesis and conclude that orthopox synthesis experiments currently remain technically challenging-and will continue to be so, even once this work is published in the scientific literature. This limits potential misuse by some types of nefarious actors. Read More

    andfounder mutations account for 78% of germline carriers among hereditary breast cancer families in Chile.
    Oncotarget 2017 Sep 29;8(43):74233-74243. Epub 2017 Jun 29.
    Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
    Identifying founder mutations inandin specific populations constitute a valuable opportunity for genetic screening. Several studies from different populations have reported recurrent and/or founder mutations representing a relevant proportion ofmutation carriers. In Latin America, only few founder mutations have been described. Read More

    Real-time Estimation of Epidemiologic Parameters from Contact Tracing Data During an Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreak.
    Epidemiology 2018 Mar;29(2):230-236
    Background: Contact tracing can provide accurate information on relevant parameters of an ongoing emerging infectious disease outbreak. This is crucial to investigators seeking to control such an outbreak. However, crude contact tracing data are difficult to interpret and methods for analyzing these data are scarce. Read More

    Activation and trafficking of CD8T cells during viral skin infection: immunological lessons learned from vaccinia virus.
    Curr Opin Virol 2017 Oct 25;28:12-19. Epub 2017 Oct 25.
    Departments of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR 97239, United States; Departments of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR 97239, United States; Departments of Radiation Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR 97239, United States. Electronic address:
    Epicutaneous delivery of vaccinia virus (VacV) by scarification of the skin generates robust and durable protective immunity, which was ultimately responsible for eradicating smallpox from the human race. Therefore, infection of the skin with VacV is often used in experimental model systems to study the activation of adaptive immunity, as well as the development and functional features of immunological memory. Here, we describe recent advances using this viral infection to identify and characterize the mechanisms regulating the activation and trafficking of cytotoxic CD8T cells into the inflamed skin, the migratory features of CD8T cells within the skin microenvironment, and finally, their subsequent differentiation into tissue-resident memory cells. Read More

    Ontology-Based Vaccine Adverse Event Representation and Analysis.
    Adv Exp Med Biol 2017 ;1028:89-103
    University of Michigan Medical School, 1301 Medical School Research Building III, 1150 W, Medical Center Dr, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA.
    Vaccine is the one of the greatest inventions of modern medicine that has contributed most to the relief of human misery and the exciting increase in life expectancy. In 1796, an English country physician, Edward Jenner, discovered that inoculating mankind with cowpox can protect them from smallpox (Riedel S, Edward Jenner and the history of smallpox and vaccination. Proceedings (Baylor University. Read More

    Immune engineering: from systems immunology to engineering immunity.
    Curr Opin Biomed Eng 2017 Mar 22;1:54-62. Epub 2017 Mar 22.
    Department of Biomedical engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.
    The smallpox vaccine represents the earliest attempt in engineering immunity. The recent success of chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T cells) in cancer once again demonstrates the clinical potential of immune engineering. Inspired by this success, diverse approaches have been used to boost various aspects of immunity: engineering dendritic cells (DCs), natural killer (NK) cells, T cells, antibodies, cytokines, small peptides, and others. Read More

    Retrospective Proteomic Analysis of Serum After Akhmeta Virus Infection: New Suspect Case Identification and Insights Into Poxvirus Humoral Immunity.
    J Infect Dis 2017 Dec;216(12):1505-1512
    Divisions of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, Tbilisi, Georgia.
    Serologic cross-reactivity, a hallmark of orthopoxvirus (OPXV) infection, makes species-specific diagnosis of infection difficult. In this study, we used a variola virus proteome microarray to characterize and differentiate antibody responses to nonvaccinia OPXV infections from smallpox vaccination. The profile of 2 case patients infected with newly discovered OPXV, Akhmeta virus, exhibited antibody responses of greater intensity and broader recognition of viral proteins and includes the B21/22 family glycoproteins not encoded by vaccinia virus strains used as vaccines. Read More

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