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    The geography of smallpox in England before vaccination: A conundrum resolved.
    Soc Sci Med 2018 Apr 16;206:75-85. Epub 2018 Apr 16.
    Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, Faculty of History, West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9EF, UK. Electronic address:
    Smallpox is regarded as an ancient and lethal disease of humans, however very little is known about the prevalence and impact of smallpox before the advent of vaccination (c.1800). Here we use evidence from English burial records covering the period 1650-1799 to confirm a striking geography to smallpox patterns. Read More

    The Cowpox Controversy: Memory and the Politics of Public Health in Cuba.
    Bull Hist Med 2018 ;92(1):110-140
    Vaccination played an important role in the formation of a national consciousness in Cuba, and vaccination's earliest promoters dominate nationalist narratives of medical achievement on the island. This article investigates the intense hostility exhibited by the creole medical elite toward a pivotal figure in the history of smallpox vaccination in Cuba, Spanish physician Dr. Vicente Ferrer (1823-83), the first in the Americas to mass produce smallpox vaccine using calf vaccinifiers. Read More

    Mutagenic repair of double-stranded DNA breaks in vaccinia virus genomes requires cellular DNA ligase IV activity in the cytosol.
    J Gen Virol 2018 Apr 20. Epub 2018 Apr 20.
    1​Department of Medical Microbiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
    Poxviruses comprise a group of large dsDNA viruses that include members relevant to human and animal health, such as variola virus, monkeypox virus, cowpox virus and vaccinia virus (VACV). Poxviruses are remarkable for their unique replication cycle, which is restricted to the cytoplasm of infected cells. The independence from the host nucleus requires poxviruses to encode most of the enzymes involved in DNA replication, transcription and processing. Read More

    Vaccine refusal - what we need to know.
    J Pediatr (Rio J) 2018 Apr 11. Epub 2018 Apr 11.
    Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), Escola Paulista de Medicina, Departamento de Pediatria, São Paulo, SP, Brazil; Faculdade São Leopoldo Mandic, Curso de Medicina, Campinas, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:
    Objective: Opposition to vaccines is not a new event, and appeared soon after the introduction of the smallpox vaccine in the late 18th century. The purpose of this review is to educate healthcare professionals about vaccine hesitancy and refusal, its causes and consequences, and make suggestions to address this challenge.

    Source Of Data: A comprehensive and non-systematic search was carried out in the PubMed, LILACS, and ScieLo databases from 1980 to the present day, using the terms "vaccine refusal," "vaccine hesitancy," and "vaccine confidence. Read More

    Immunogenicity and safety of three consecutive production lots of the non replicating smallpox vaccine MVA: A randomised, double blind, placebo controlled phase III trial.
    PLoS One 2018 13;13(4):e0195897. Epub 2018 Apr 13.
    Bavarian Nordic GmbH, Martinsried, Germany.
    Background: Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) is a live, viral vaccine under advanced development as a non-replicating smallpox vaccine. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III clinical trial was conducted to demonstrate the humoral immunogenic equivalence of three consecutively manufactured MVA production lots, and to confirm the safety and tolerability of MVA focusing on cardiac readouts.

    Methods: The trial was conducted at 34 sites in the US. Read More

    Cutting Edge: Protection by Antiviral Memory CD8 T Cells Requires Rapidly Produced Antigen in Large Amounts.
    J Immunol 2018 Apr 11. Epub 2018 Apr 11.
    Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107; and
    Numerous attempts to produce antiviral vaccines by harnessing memory CD8 T cells have failed. A barrier to progress is that we do not know what makes an Ag a viable target of protective CD8 T cell memory. We found that in mice susceptible to lethal mousepox (the mouse homolog of human smallpox), a dendritic cell vaccine that induced memory CD8 T cells fully protected mice when the infecting virus produced Ag in large quantities and with rapid kinetics. Read More

    The case for ring vaccinations with special consideration of oral cholera vaccines.
    Hum Vaccin Immunother 2018 Apr 9:1-19. Epub 2018 Apr 9.
    b Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University , Bangkok , Thailand.
    Ring vaccinations create a zone of immune contacts around a case to prevent further disease transmission and have been successfully employed in the eradication of smallpox and the control of other infections. Millions of oral cholera vaccine (OCV) doses have been effectively deployed through mass vaccination campaigns. But there are situations when the OCV supply, resources, and time are limited and alternative strategies need to be considered. Read More

    A single vaccination with non-replicating MVA at birth induces both immediate and long-term protective immune responses.
    Vaccine 2018 Apr 27;36(18):2427-2434. Epub 2018 Mar 27.
    Bavarian Nordic GmbH, Fraunhoferstrasse 13, D-82152 Martinsried, Germany. Electronic address:
    Newborns are considered difficult to protect against infections shortly after birth, due to their ineffective immune system that shows quantitative and qualitative differences compared to adults. However, here we show that a single vaccination of mice at birth with a replication-deficient live vaccine Modified Vaccinia Ankara [MVA] efficiently induces antigen-specific B- and T-cells that fully protect against a lethal Ectromelia virus challenge. Protection was induced within 2 weeks and using genetically modified mice we show that this protection was mainly T-cell dependent. Read More

    The South Asian Origins of the Global Network to Eradicate Blindness: WHO, NGOs, and Decentralization.
    Endeavour 2018 Mar 23. Epub 2018 Mar 23.
    Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University, 919 E. Shaw Lane, Rm E-35, East Lansing, MI 48825, United States. Electronic address:
    The global network to eradicate blindness emerged out of the work of Western and South Asian professionals to eradicate smallpox which was endemic in South Asia. The history of the emergence of the global network to eradicate blindness demonstrates a shift from vertical command and control public health programs directed by the WHO, to the decentralized public health services originating in non-profit, non-governmental organizations and coordinated by the WHO. The WHO constitution started with a federal regionalist structure that encouraged collaboration and coordination with NGOs. Read More

    Investigation of an outbreak of monkeypox in an area occupied by armed groups, Central African Republic.
    Med Mal Infect 2018 Mar 21. Epub 2018 Mar 21.
    Institut Pasteur de Bangui, Central African Republic.
    Background: Monkeypox is a zoonosis caused by an Orthopoxvirus of the Poxviridae family. Human infections are often severe and are a public health problem.

    Patients And Method: We conducted a monkeypox outbreak investigation of suspected case patients in five villages of the Alindao-Mingala Health District following blood sample confirmation of the virus by the Institut Pasteur in Bangui. Read More

    A Genealogy of Animal Diseases and Social Anthropology (1870-2000).
    Med Anthropol Q 2018 Mar 23. Epub 2018 Mar 23.
    Laboratoire d'anthropologie sociale, PSL Research University.
    Culling, vaccinating, and monitoring animals are the three main techniques used in contemporary veterinary public health to manage animal diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Each technique is underpinned by different ontological understandings of how microbes figure in relations between humans and animals. Therefore, animal diseases are not only a question for an applied anthropology but also involve the theoretical core of the discipline: that is, understanding how social causality emerges out of physical causality. Read More

    Myocarditis secondary to smallpox vaccination.
    BMJ Case Rep 2018 Mar 22;2018. Epub 2018 Mar 22.
    Cardiology, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
    The development of vaccines ushered in the most profound advancement in 20th century medicine, and have widely been regarded as the one of the most important scientific discovery in the history of mankind. However, vaccines are not without risk; reactions can range from injection site reactions to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Among the more serious vaccine-related sequela is myocarditis. Read More

    A Holistic Assessment of the Risks and Benefits of the Synthesis of Horsepox Virus.
    mSphere 2018 Mar-Apr;3(2). Epub 2018 Mar 7.
    Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
    The re-creation of horsepox virus, an extinct orthopoxvirus with similarity to smallpox virus, has caused concerns in the biosecurity and biodefense communities that the technical capabilities achieved could advance the re-creation of smallpox virus by nefarious actors. The work is now published. While the authors went through due biosecurity diligence at their research institution and with the proper Canadian federal authorities, now that the experiments have been published, there is an opportunity to discuss the dual use risks and benefits of the research itself, as well as those associated with publication of such research-all of which challenge current policies. Read More

    A Critical Analysis of the Scientific and Commercial Rationales for the Synthesis of Horsepox Virus.
    mSphere 2018 Mar-Apr;3(2). Epub 2018 Mar 7.
    Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia, USA.
    This article evaluates the scientific and commercial rationales for the synthesis of horsepox virus. I find that the claimed benefits of using horsepox virus as a smallpox vaccine rest on a weak scientific foundation and an even weaker business case that this project will lead to a licensed medical countermeasure. The combination of questionable benefits and known risks of this dual use research raises serious questions about the wisdom of undertaking research that could be used to recreate variola virus. Read More

    Rapid Viral Diagnosis of Orthopoxviruses by Electron Microscopy: Optional or a Must?
    Viruses 2018 03 22;10(4). Epub 2018 Mar 22.
    (ret) University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Burnfoot, Stocksfield, Northumberland, NE43 7TN, UK.
    Diagnostic electron microscopy (DEM) was an essential component of viral diagnosis until the development of highly sensitive nucleic acid amplification techniques (NAT). The simple negative staining technique of DEM was applied widely to smallpox diagnosis until the world-wide eradication of the human-specific pathogen in 1980. Since then, the threat of smallpox re-emerging through laboratory escape, molecular manipulation, synthetic biology or bioterrorism has not totally disappeared and would be a major problem in an unvaccinated population. Read More

    Characterization of murine antibody responses to vaccinia virus envelope protein A14 reveals an immunodominant antigen lacking of effective neutralization targets.
    Virology 2018 May 17;518:284-292. Epub 2018 Mar 17.
    Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, Long School of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA. Electronic address:
    Vaccinia virus (VACV) A14 is a major envelope protein and a dominant antibody target in the smallpox vaccine. However, the role of anti-A14 antibodies in immunity against orthopoxviruses is unclear. Here, we characterized 22 A14 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) from two mice immunized with VACV. Read More

    Smallpox vaccine complications: the dermatologist's role in diagnosis and management.
    Cutis 2018 Feb;101(2):87-90
    University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, USA.
    In 2002, the United States implemented a new program for smallpox vaccinations among military personnel using a live vaccinia virus product. Approximately 2.4 million US military service members and health care workers have since been inoculated, with considerable numbers experiencing adverse reactions. Read More

    Influence of Population Immunosuppression and Past Vaccination on Smallpox Reemergence.
    Emerg Infect Dis 2018 Apr;24(4):646-653
    We built a SEIR (susceptible, exposed, infected, recovered) model of smallpox transmission for New York, New York, USA, and Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, that accounted for age-specific population immunosuppression and residual vaccine immunity and conducted sensitivity analyses to estimate the effect these parameters might have on smallpox reemergence. At least 19% of New York's and 17% of Sydney's population are immunosuppressed. The highest smallpox infection rates were in persons 0-19 years of age, but the highest death rates were in those >45 years of age. Read More

    How Does Vaccinia Virus Interfere With Interferon?
    Adv Virus Res 2018 16;100:355-378. Epub 2018 Feb 16.
    University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
    Interferons (IFNs) are secreted glycoproteins that are produced by cells in response to virus infection and other stimuli and induce an antiviral state in cells bearing IFN receptors. In this way, IFNs restrict virus replication and spread before an adaptive immune response is developed. Viruses are very sensitive to the effects of IFNs and consequently have evolved many strategies to interfere with interferon. Read More

    Post-Smallpox Vaccination Skin Eruption in a Marine.
    Mil Med 2018 Mar 13. Epub 2018 Mar 13.
    Aerospace Medicine, Marine Air Group-24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, BOX 63047, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, HI 96863.
    This case report examines a vesiculopustular reaction which occurred in a young Marine 9 d after receiving the smallpox vaccination. Review of the CDC guidelines, ACAM2000 package insert, and literature surrounding the smallpox vaccine reveals several well-established adverse cutaneous reactions associated with vaccination. These dermatologic reactions are typically mild and self-limited, but do have the potential to be life threatening - especially in those with immunocompromise. Read More

    Characterization of the immune response elicited by the vaccinia virus L3 protein delivered as naked DNA.
    Vaccine 2018 04 7;36(15):2049-2055. Epub 2018 Mar 7.
    Department of Microbiology, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, PR, USA. Electronic address:
    Poxviruses are complex dsDNA viruses with over 200 genes, many of them with unknown role in the stimulation of immune responses. Among these, the vaccinia virus (VACV) L3L ORF encodes an essential protein for the transcription of the VACV early genes. To the best of our knowledge, the immune response elicited by L3 has not been characterized. Read More

    Occupational transmission of an Orthopoxvirus infection during an outbreak in a colony of Macaca tonkeana in Lazio Region, Italy, 2015.
    Zoonoses Public Health 2018 Mar 7. Epub 2018 Mar 7.
    Scietific Direction, National Institute for Infectious Diseases "L. Spallanzani", Rome, Italy.
    Orthopoxviruses spill over from animal reservoirs to accidental hosts, sometimes causing human infections. We describe the surveillance and infection control measures undertaken during an outbreak due to an Orthopoxvirus occurred in January 2015 in a colony of Macaca tonkeana in the province of Rieti, Latio, Italy, which caused a human asymptomatic infection. According to the epidemiological investigation, the human transmission occurred after an unprotected exposure. Read More

    Loss of Actin-Based Motility Impairs Ectromelia Virus Release In Vitro but Is Not Critical to Spread In Vivo.
    Viruses 2018 03 5;10(3). Epub 2018 Mar 5.
    School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.
    Ectromelia virus (ECTV) is an orthopoxvirus and the causative agent of mousepox. Like other poxviruses such as variola virus (agent of smallpox), monkeypox virus and vaccinia virus (the live vaccine for smallpox), ECTV promotes actin-nucleation at the surface of infected cells during virus release. Homologs of the viral protein A36 mediate this function through phosphorylation of one or two tyrosine residues that ultimately recruit the cellular Arp2/3 actin-nucleating complex. Read More

    Modulating Vaccinia Virus Immunomodulators to Improve Immunological Memory.
    Viruses 2018 02 28;10(3). Epub 2018 Feb 28.
    Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QP, UK.
    The increasing frequency of monkeypox virus infections, new outbreaks of other zoonotic orthopoxviruses and concern about the re-emergence of smallpox have prompted research into developing antiviral drugs and better vaccines against these viruses. This article considers the genetic engineering of vaccinia virus (VACV) to enhance vaccine immunogenicity and safety. The virulence, immunogenicity and protective efficacy of VACV strains engineered to lack specific immunomodulatory or host range proteins are described. Read More

    Virulent poxviruses inhibit DNA sensing by preventing STING activation.
    J Virol 2018 Feb 28. Epub 2018 Feb 28.
    Department of Microbial Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom
    Cytosolic recognition of DNA has emerged as a critical cellular mechanism of host immune activation upon pathogen invasion. The central cytosolic DNA sensor cGAS activates STING, which is phosphorylated, dimerises and translocates from the ER to a perinuclear region to mediate IRF-3 activation. Poxviruses are dsDNA viruses replicating in the cytosol and hence likely to trigger cytosolic DNA sensing. Read More

    Construction and characterization of bacterial artificial chromosomes harboring the full-length genome of a highly attenuated vaccinia virus LC16m8.
    PLoS One 2018 23;13(2):e0192725. Epub 2018 Feb 23.
    Department of Virology 1, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Toyama, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
    LC16m8 (m8), a highly attenuated vaccinia virus (VAC) strain, was developed as a smallpox vaccine, and its safety and immunogenicity have been confirmed. Here, we aimed to develop a system that recovers infectious m8 from a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) that retains the full-length viral genomic DNA (m8-BAC system). The infectious virus was successfully recovered from a VAC-BAC plasmid, named pLC16m8-BAC. Read More

    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 03 15;36(12):1524-1527. 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 Jun 12;90(6):1134-1141. Epub 2018 Mar 12.
    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 Apr 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

    The Inhibitory 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 the genus of the family 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 01 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 genes and . Read More

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