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PLoS Pathog. 2013;9(12):e1003756. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003756. Epub 2013 Dec 5.

An increasing danger of zoonotic orthopoxvirus infections.

Author information

1
State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR, Koltsovo, Novosibirsk Oblast, Russia ; Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russia.

Abstract

On May 8, 1980, the World Health Assembly at its 33(rd) session solemnly declared that the world and all its peoples had won freedom from smallpox and recommended ceasing the vaccination of the population against smallpox. Currently, a larger part of the world population has no immunity not only against smallpox but also against other zoonotic orthopoxvirus infections. Recently, recorded outbreaks of orthopoxvirus diseases not only of domestic animals but also of humans have become more frequent. All this indicates a new situation in the ecology and evolution of zoonotic orthopoxviruses. Analysis of state-of-the-art data on the phylogenetic relationships, ecology, and host range of orthopoxviruses--etiological agents of smallpox (variola virus, VARV), monkeypox (MPXV), cowpox (CPXV), vaccinia (VACV), and camelpox (CMLV)--as well as the patterns of their evolution suggests that a VARV-like virus could emerge in the course of natural evolution of modern zoonotic orthopoxviruses. Thus, there is an insistent need for organization of the international control over the outbreaks of zoonotic orthopoxvirus infections in various countries to provide a rapid response and prevent them from developing into epidemics.

PMID:
24339772
PMCID:
PMC3855571
DOI:
10.1371/journal.ppat.1003756
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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