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Poxvirus Infection Cycle

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Poxviruses (of the family Poxviridae) are a family of the largest and most complex viruses that infect humans. They are large brick-shaped or ovoid complex dsDNA (double-stranded DNA) viruses capable of replicating in the cell cytoplasm independent of the cell nucleus and have in common the propensity to produce cutaneous lesions. Variola virus is the most virulent member of the Orthopox genus of viruses causing smallpox. It is specific for humans and has no other animal hosts. The primary reason for infection in humans is due to its ability to evade the host immune responses, and avoid complement activation. The prototype Orthopoxvirus, Vaccinia shows considerable sequence similarity to Variola and is the current smallpox vaccine. Other Orthopoxviruses such as cowpox [...]


1.Immune response to poxvirus infections in various animals.
Smith SA, Kotwal GJ
Crit Rev Microbiol. 2002; 28(3):149-85.
2.Smallpox and bioterrorism.
Pennington H
Bull World Health Organ. 2003; 81(10):762-7. Epub 2003 Nov 25
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