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    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 Nov 11. 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 2017 Nov 9. Epub 2017 Nov 9.
    LJI, United States;
    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 1. 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

    BRCA1 and BRCA2 founder 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 in BRCA1 and BRCA2 in 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 of BRCA mutation 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 2017 Oct 30. Epub 2017 Oct 30.
    Centre for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands (Loes Soetens, Don Klinkenberg, Corien Swaan, Susan Hahné, Jacco Wallinga). Department of Medical Statistics, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (Loes Soetens, Jacco Wallinga).
    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 CD8(+) T cells during viral skin infection: immunological lessons learned from vaccinia virus.
    Curr Opin Virol 2017 Oct 24;28:12-19. Epub 2017 Oct 24.
    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 CD8(+) T cells into the inflamed skin, the migratory features of CD8(+) T 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 Oct 6. Epub 2017 Oct 6.
    Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
    Serologic cross-reactivity, a hallmark of orthopoxvirus (OPXV) infection, makes species-specific diagnosis of infection difficult. In this study, we used a Variola virus (VARV) proteome microarray to characterize and differentiate antibody responses to non-vaccinia OPXV infections from smallpox vaccination. The profile of two-case patients infected with newly discovered OPXV, Akhmeta virus (AKMV), exhibited antibody responses of greater intensity and broader recognition of viral proteins and includes the B21/22 family glycoproteins not encoded by vaccinia virus (VACV) strains used as vaccines. Read More

    A Cross-Sectional Serosurvey of Anti-Orthopoxvirus Antibodies in Central and Western Africa.
    Viruses 2017 Sep 29;9(10). Epub 2017 Sep 29.
    Centre for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens ZBS 1, Highly Pathogenic Viruses Centre for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens, Robert Koch Institute, 13353 Berlin, Germany.
    Since the eradication of smallpox and the subsequent discontinuation of the worldwide smallpox vaccination program, other Orthopoxviruses beside Variola virus have been increasingly representing a risk to human health. To investigate the extent of natural contact with Orthopoxviruses and possible demographic risk factors for such an exposure, we performed a cross-sectional serosurvey of anti-Orthopoxvirus IgG antibodies in West and Central Africa. To this end, people living in forest regions in Côte d'Ivoire (CIV, n = 737) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (COD, n = 267) were assigned into groups according to their likely smallpox vaccination status. Read More

    Comment: Characterization of Two Historic Smallpox Specimens from a Czech Museum.
    Viruses 2017 Sep 28;9(10). Epub 2017 Sep 28.
    Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, Charles Perkins Centre, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.
    The complete genome sequences of two strains of variola virus (VARV) sampled from human smallpox specimens present in the Czech National Museum, Prague, were recently determined, with one of the sequences estimated to date to the mid-19th century. Using molecular clock methods, the authors of this study go on to infer that the currently available strains of VARV share an older common ancestor, at around 1350 AD, than some recent estimates based on other archival human samples. Herein, we show that the two Czech strains exhibit anomalous branch lengths given their proposed age, and by assuming a constant rate of evolutionary change across the rest of the VARV phylogeny estimate that their true age in fact lies between 1918 and 1937. Read More

    Accelerating Vaccine Development During the 2013-2016 West African Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak.
    Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 2017 Sep 17. Epub 2017 Sep 17.
    Integrated Research Facility, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Frederick, MD, USA.
    The Ebola virus disease outbreak that began in Western Africa in December 2013 was unprecedented in both scope and spread, and the global response was slower and less coherent than was optimal given the scale and pace of the epidemic. Past experience with limited localized outbreaks, lack of licensed medical countermeasures, reluctance by first responders to direct scarce resources to clinical research, community resistance to outside interventions, and lack of local infrastructure were among the factors delaying clinical research during the outbreak. Despite these hurdles, the global health community succeeded in accelerating Ebola virus vaccine development, in a 5-month interval initiating phase I trials in humans in September 2014 and initiating phase II/III trails in February 2015. Read More

    The Work of US Public Health Service Officers in Puerto Rico, 1898-1919.
    P R Health Sci J 2017 Sep;36(3):130-139
    Academia Puertorriqueña de la Historia, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Assistant Professor, ad honorem, University of Puerto Rico Schools of Public Health and Medicine; Captain (Retired), Commissioned Corps of the US Public Health Service; a native of Puerto Rico, where he served much of his career. The content of this article does not necessarily represent the official views of the United States Public Health Service.
    The history of the US Public Health Service (PHS) is usually presented in terms of diseases or discoveries; this article examines twenty years' activity in one location. When the United States invaded Puerto Rico in 1898, the Marine Hospital Service (now PHS) took responsibility for foreign quarantine, inspection of immigrants, and medical care for merchant seamen. Its officers evaluated the sanitary conditions of port cities, helped reorganize local disease surveillance and control, and investigated endemic diseases (e. Read More

    Re-Assembly and Analysis of an Ancient Variola Virus Genome.
    Viruses 2017 Sep 8;9(9). Epub 2017 Sep 8.
    Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 3P6, Canada.
    We report a major improvement to the assembly of published short read sequencing data from an ancient variola virus (VARV) genome by the removal of contig-capping sequencing tags and manual searches for gap-spanning reads. The new assembly, together with camelpox and taterapox genomes, permitted new dates to be calculated for the last common ancestor of all VARV genomes. The analysis of recently sequenced VARV-like cowpox virus genomes showed that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and amino acid changes in the vaccinia virus (VACV)-Cop-O1L ortholog, predicted to be associated with VARV host specificity and virulence, were introduced into the lineage before the divergence of these viruses. Read More

    The Effect of Smallpox and Bacillus Calmette-Guérin Vaccination on the Risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 Infection in Guinea-Bissau and Denmark.
    Open Forum Infect Dis 2017 20;4(3):ofx130. Epub 2017 Jun 20.
    Bandim Health Project, Indepth Network, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau.
    Background: The live smallpox and Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccinations have been associated with better adult survival in both Guinea-Bissau and Denmark. In Guinea-Bissau, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 became an important cause of death after smallpox vaccination was phased out globally in 1980. We hypothesised that smallpox and BCG vaccinations were associated with a lower prevalence of HIV-1 infection, and we tested this hypothesis in both Guinea-Bissau and Denmark. Read More

    Remembering Marcel Baltazard, Great Researcher and the French President of Pasteur Institute of Iran.
    Arch Iran Med 2017 Aug;20(8):553-557
    1)Research Centre for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran. 2)Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.
    Dr. Marcel Baltazard (1908-1971), French scientist and former director of Pasteur Institute of Iran, is known in the international arena due to his research on the control of infectious diseases such as plague, rabies, relapsing fever, leprosy, smallpox and tuberculosis. Dr. Read More

    Addressing the Challenges and Opportunities of the Polio Endgame: Lessons for the Future.
    J Infect Dis 2017 Jul;216(suppl_1):S1-S8
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
    The Global Commission for the Certification of the Eradication of Poliomyelitis certified the eradication of type 2 poliovirus in September 2015, making type 2 poliovirus the first human pathogen to be eradicated since smallpox. The eradication of type 2 poliovirus, the absence of detection of type 3 poliovirus worldwide since November 2012, and cornering type 1 poliovirus to only a few geographic areas of 3 countries has enabled implementation of the endgame of polio eradication which calls for a phased withdrawal of oral polio vaccine beginning with the type 2 component, introduction of inactivated poliovirus vaccine, strengthening of routine immunization in countries with extensive polio resources, and initiating activities to transition polio resources, program experience, and lessons learned to other global health initiatives. This supplement focuses on efforts by global partners to successfully launch polio endgame activities to permanently secure and sustain the enormous gains of polio eradication forever. Read More

    The De Novo Synthesis of Horsepox Virus: Implications for Biosecurity and Recommendations for Preventing the Reemergence of Smallpox.
    Health Secur 2017 Aug 24. Epub 2017 Aug 24.
    In March 2017, the American biotech company Tonix announced that a Canadian scientist had synthesized horsepox virus as part of a project to develop a safer vaccine against smallpox. The first de novo synthesis of an orthopoxvirus, a closely related group of viruses that includes horsepox and the variola virus that causes smallpox, crosses an important Rubicon in the field of biosecurity. The synthesis of horsepox virus takes the world one step closer to the reemergence of smallpox as a threat to global health security. Read More

    Characterization of Monkeypox virus infection in African rope squirrels (Funisciurus sp.).
    PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2017 Aug 21;11(8):e0005809. Epub 2017 Aug 21.
    US Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America.
    Monkeypox (MPX) is a zoonotic disease endemic in Central and West Africa and is caused by Monkeypox virus (MPXV), the most virulent Orthopoxvirus affecting humans since the eradication of Variola virus (VARV). Many aspects of the MPXV transmission cycle, including the natural host of the virus, remain unknown. African rope squirrels (Funisciurus spp. Read More

    Revisiting Jenner's mysteries, the role of the Beaugency lymph in the evolutionary path of ancient smallpox vaccines.
    Lancet Infect Dis 2017 Aug 18. Epub 2017 Aug 18.
    Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Electronic address:
    In 1796, Edward Jenner developed the smallpox vaccine consisting of pustular material obtained from lesions on cows affected by so-called cow-pox. The disease, caused by cowpox virus, confers crossprotection against smallpox. However, historical evidence suggests that Jenner might have used vaccinia virus or even horsepox virus instead of cowpox virus. Read More

    Evaluation of Taterapox Virus in Small Animals.
    Viruses 2017 Aug 1;9(8). Epub 2017 Aug 1.
    Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, 1100 South Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA.
    Taterapox virus (TATV), which was isolated from an African gerbil (Tatera kempi) in 1975, is the most closely related virus to variola; however, only the original report has examined its virology. We have evaluated the tropism of TATV in vivo in small animals. We found that TATV does not infect Graphiurus kelleni, a species of African dormouse, but does induce seroconversion in the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus) and in mice; however, in wild-type mice and gerbils, the virus produces an unapparent infection. Read More

    OH1 from Orf Virus: A New Tyrosine Phosphatase that Displays Distinct Structural Features and Triple Substrate Specificity.
    J Mol Biol 2017 Sep 25;429(18):2816-2824. Epub 2017 Jul 25.
    Sección Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias, UdelaR, 11400 Montevideo, Uruguay. Electronic address:
    Viral tyrosine phosphatases such as VH1 from Vaccinia and Variola virus are recognized as important effectors of host-pathogen interactions. While proteins sharing sequence to VH1 have been identified in other viruses, their structural and functional characterization is not known. In this work, we determined the crystal structure of the VH1 homolog in the Orf virus, herein named OH1. Read More

    Characterization of Two Historic Smallpox Specimens from a Czech Museum.
    Viruses 2017 Jul 27;9(8). Epub 2017 Jul 27.
    Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, Neuherbergstr. 11, 80937 Munich, Germany.
    Although smallpox has been known for centuries, the oldest available variola virus strains were isolated in the early 1940s. At that time, large regions of the world were already smallpox-free. Therefore, genetic information of these strains can represent only the very last fraction of a long evolutionary process. Read More

    Comparing New-Generation Candidate Vaccines against Human Orthopoxvirus Infections.
    Acta Naturae 2017 Apr-Jun;9(2):88-93
    State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology «Vector», Koltsovo, Novosibirsk region, 630559 , Russia.
    The lack of immunity to the variola virus in the population, increasingly more frequent cases of human orthopoxvirus infection, and increased risk of the use of the variola virus (VARV) as a bioterrorism agent call for the development of modern, safe vaccines against orthopoxvirus infections. We previously developed a polyvalent DNA vaccine based on five VARV antigens and an attenuated variant of the vaccinia virus (VACV) with targeted deletion of six genes (VACΔ6). Independent experiments demonstrated that triple immunization with a DNA vaccine and double immunization with VACΔ6 provide protection to mice against a lethal dose (10 LD50) of the ectromelia virus (ECTV), which is highly pathogenic for mice. Read More

    Species Specificity of Vaccinia Virus Complement Control Protein for the Bovine Classical Pathway Is Governed Primarily by Direct Interaction of Its Acidic Residues with Factor I.
    J Virol 2017 Oct 12;91(19). Epub 2017 Sep 12.
    Complement Biology Laboratory, National Centre for Cell Science, S. P. Pune University, Ganeshkhind, Pune, India
    Poxviruses display species tropism-variola virus is a human-specific virus, while vaccinia virus causes repeated outbreaks in dairy cattle. Consistent with this, variola virus complement regulator SPICE (smallpox inhibitor of complement enzymes) exhibits selectivity in inhibiting the human alternative complement pathway and vaccinia virus complement regulator VCP (vaccinia virus complement control protein) displays selectivity in inhibiting the bovine alternative complement pathway. In the present study, we examined the species specificity of VCP and SPICE for the classical pathway (CP). Read More

    Production of a Chikungunya Vaccine Using a CHO Cell and Attenuated Viral-Based Platform Technology.
    Mol Ther 2017 Oct 15;25(10):2332-2344. Epub 2017 Jul 15.
    Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory, Hanson Institute and Sansom Institute for Health Research, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia; Robinson Research Institute and Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia. Electronic address:
    Vaccinia-based systems have been extensively explored for the development of recombinant vaccines. Herein we describe an innovative vaccinia virus (VACV)-derived vaccine platform technology termed Sementis Copenhagen Vector (SCV), which was rendered multiplication-defective by targeted deletion of the essential viral assembly gene D13L. A SCV cell substrate line was developed for SCV vaccine production by engineering CHO cells to express D13 and the VACV host-range factor CP77, because CHO cells are routinely used for manufacture of biologics. Read More

    Randomised controlled trials and changing public health practice.
    BMC Public Health 2017 May 30;17(Suppl 1):409. Epub 2017 May 30.
    CIET Trust, Gaborone, Botswana.
    One reason for doing randomised controlled trials (RCTs) is that experiments can be convincing. Early epidemiological experimenters, such as Jenner and the smallpox vaccine and Snow and his famous Broad Street pump handle, already knew the answer they were demonstrating; they used the experiments as knowledge translation devices to convince others.More sophisticated modern experiments include cluster randomised controlled trials (CRCTs) for experiments in the public health setting. Read More

    Inhibition of Poxvirus Gene Expression and Genome Replication by Bisbenzimide Derivatives.
    J Virol 2017 Sep 24;91(18). Epub 2017 Aug 24.
    Institute of Biochemistry, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
    Virus infection of humans and livestock can be devastating for individuals and populations, sometimes resulting in large economic and societal impact. Prevention of virus disease by vaccination or antiviral agents is difficult to achieve. A notable exception was the eradication of human smallpox by vaccination over 30 years ago. Read More

    Smallpox vaccination: an early start of modern medicine in America.
    J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect 2017 Jan 31;7(1):61-63. Epub 2017 Mar 31.
    Department of Internal Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, USA.
    Smallpox was eradicated by the World Health Organization in 1980. Before its eradication thedisease had a mortality rate upwards of 50% and had a significant impact on society. During theAmerican Revolutionary war, smallpox outbreaks were impeding the American war effort until1777 when George Washington carried out a mass inoculation campaign in the ContinentalArmy that reduced the mortality from smallpox to less than 2%. Read More

    Vaccination with a codon-optimized A27L-containing plasmid decreases virus replication and dissemination after vaccinia virus challenge.
    Vaccine 2017 Oct 16;35(44):6007-6014. Epub 2017 Jun 16.
    Department of Microbiology and Medical Zoology, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, School of Medicine, San Juan, PR 00936, United States. Electronic address:
    Smallpox is a disease caused by Variola virus (VARV). Although eradicated by WHO in 1980, the threat of using VARV on a bioterror attack has increased. The current smallpox vaccine ACAM2000, which consists of live vaccinia virus (VACV), causes complications in individuals with a compromised immune system or with previously reported skin diseases. Read More

    Induction, treatment and prevention of eczema vaccinatum in atopic dermatitis mouse models.
    Vaccine 2017 Jul 20;35(33):4245-4254. Epub 2017 Jun 20.
    Department of Infectious Diseases, Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), Ness-Ziona, Israel. Electronic address:
    Eczema vaccinatum is a severe and occasionally lethal complication of smallpox vaccine, characterized by systemic viral dissemination, distant from the initial inoculation site of the vaccine. A major risk factor for eczema vaccinatum is a background of atopic dermatitis, a chronic, common allergic, relapsing disorder, manifested by dry and inflamed skin, itchy rash, Th2 biased immune response and hypersensitivity to various antigens. Unlike the severe manifestations of eczema vaccinatum in humans, current models present only mild symptoms that limits examination of potential therapeutics for eczema vaccinatum. Read More

    Vaccine hesitancy: parental, professional and public responsibility.
    Ann Ist Super Sanita 2017 Apr-Jun;53(2):157-162
    President, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.
    The opposition to vaccinations is a well-known phenomenon that dates back to the Victorian age when it was self-limited by the awareness of the importance to be protected against fearsome infectious diseases. In the XX century, the mass use of vaccination has - instead - consented to eradicate or drastically reduce the burden of diseases such as smallpox and polio. These positive effects of the vaccination campaigns have blurred out, if not erased, the memory of the tragic consequences of the past's widespread diseases, leading people to underestimate the severity of the harm that vaccinations prevent. Read More

    Comparative Efficacy of Intramuscular and Scarification Routes of Administration of Live Smallpox Vaccine in a Murine Challenge Model.
    Vaccine 2017 Jul 9;35(31):3889-3896. Epub 2017 Jun 9.
    CBR Division, Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury SP4 0JQ, UK; The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Woking GU24 0NF, UK. Electronic address:
    In recent years concern has mounted regarding the possibility of a re-emergence of smallpox through biowarfare or bioterrorism. There is also concern over the incidence of human monkeypox in endemic areas and the potential for monkeypox to be accidentally transported to non-endemic areas. In the event of re-emergence of smallpox or emergence of monkeypox, the accepted route of administration for live replicating smallpox vaccine is dermal scarification, which generates a virus-shedding lesion that persists for several days at the vaccination site. Read More

    Functional paralysis of GM-CSF-derived bone marrow cells productively infected with ectromelia virus.
    PLoS One 2017 12;12(6):e0179166. Epub 2017 Jun 12.
    Department of Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw University of Life Sciences-SGGW, Warsaw, Poland.
    Ectromelia virus (ECTV) is an orthopoxvirus responsible for mousepox, a lethal disease of certain strains of mice that is similar to smallpox in humans, caused by variola virus (VARV). ECTV, similar to VARV, exhibits a narrow host range and has co-evolved with its natural host. Consequently, ECTV employs sophisticated and host-specific strategies to control the immune cells that are important for induction of antiviral immune response. Read More

    Classification of Cowpox Viruses into Several Distinct Clades and Identification of a Novel Lineage.
    Viruses 2017 Jun 10;9(6). Epub 2017 Jun 10.
    Institute of Diagnostic Virology, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Südufer 10, 17493 Greifswald, Germany.
    Cowpox virus (CPXV) was considered as uniform species within the genus Orthopoxvirus (OPV). Previous phylogenetic analysis indicated that CPXV is polyphyletic and isolates may cluster into different clades with two of these clades showing genetic similarities to either variola (VARV) or vaccinia viruses (VACV). Further analyses were initiated to assess both the genetic diversity and the evolutionary background of circulating CPXVs. Read More

    Novel Nonreplicating Vaccinia Virus Vector Enhances Expression of Heterologous Genes and Suppresses Synthesis of Endogenous Viral Proteins.
    MBio 2017 Jun 6;8(3). Epub 2017 Jun 6.
    Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
    Viruses are used as expression vectors for protein synthesis, immunology research, vaccines, and therapeutics. Advantages of poxvirus vectors include the accommodation of large amounts of heterologous DNA, the presence of a cytoplasmic site of transcription, and high expression levels. On the other hand, competition of approximately 200 viral genes with the target gene for expression and immune recognition may be disadvantageous. Read More

    Duration of neutralizing antibody persisting in Thai individuals after childhood vaccination against smallpox.
    Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol 2017 Jun 1. Epub 2017 Jun 1.
    Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Background: Although smallpox was completely eliminated by 1980, it remains possible that variola virus could be intentionally released in an act of bioterrorism. Thus, several studies have been performed to detect antibody levels after smallpox vaccination of the current population in various countries to indicate the duration of maintenance of immunological memory. Our study endeavored to investigate the level of neutralizing (Nt) antibody responses of Thai individuals who had been immunized with smallpox vaccine during childhood. Read More

    Voluntary Vaccination through Self-organizing Behaviors on Locally-mixed Social Networks.
    Sci Rep 2017 Jun 1;7(1):2665. Epub 2017 Jun 1.
    School of Cyberspace, Hangzhou Dianzi University, Hangzhou, 310018, China.
    Voluntary vaccination reflects how individuals weigh the risk of infection and the cost of vaccination against the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as smallpox and measles. In a homogeneously mixing population, the infection risk of an individual depends largely on the proportion of vaccinated individuals due to the effects of herd immunity. While in a structured population, the infection risk can also be affected by the structure of individuals' social network. Read More

    [The court physician, the clergyman, a learned society and smallpox].
    Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 2017 ;161(0):D1111
    Universiteit Maastricht, Onderwijsinstituut Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht.
    Variolation was introduced in England in the first half of the 18th century. The positive effects of this new method for preventing smallpox were already known in the Netherlands around 1720, one of whom was the Dutch physician Boerhaave. In spite of this, it took another 30 years before variolation was used in the Netherlands. Read More

    Considering the "public" in public health: popular resistance to the Smallpox Eradication Programme in India.
    Indian J Med Ethics 2017 Apr-Jun;2(2):104-111
    Associate Professor, Department of Geography, 123 Major Williams Hall, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061 USA,.
    Public health initiatives, including large-scale vaccination and disease eradication programmes, regularly pit the rights of the individual against broader benefits to society. At times, the public resists such initiatives, with the World Health Organisation's Smallpox Eradication Programme (SEP) in India being a case in point. Here, we critically investigate resistance to smallpox vaccines in India and argue that while the SEP successfully eradicated a global killer; individuals were stripped of human rights through coercion, forcible vaccination and quarantine. Read More

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