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CDC Media Statement on Newly Discovered Smallpox Samples

On July 1, 2014, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) notified the appropriate regulatory agency, the Division of Select Agents and Toxins (DSAT) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that employees discovered vials labeled ”variola,” commonly known as smallpox, in an unused portion of a storage room in a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laboratory located on the NIH Bethesda campus.

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Why the world can't bring itself to destroy smallpox once and for all

Why the world can't bring itself to destroy smallpox once and for all | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
The virus is eradicated and only exists in two labs. Here's why no one is pulling the trigger.
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Infectious diseases: Smallpox watch

Infectious diseases: Smallpox watch | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Frozen mummies and envelopes of scabs could contain remnants of one of history's most prolific killers.

This month, the World Health Assembly — the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO) — will meet in Geneva, Switzerland, and decide when to destroy the only known stocks of smallpox virus, held in deep freezes at highly protected laboratories in the United States and Russia. It is a move that has been delayed since the 1980s, and in all likelihood will be put off yet again. But even if the official stocks of virus are destroyed, the chance remains that other batches of the virus could be hidden in a freezer somewhere — or that the pathogen could re-emerge, zombie-like, from a mummified corpse such as the dead woman found in Queens.


Via Ed Rybicki
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Ed Rybicki's curator insight, April 30, 2014 11:05 AM

The REAL Killer Zombie Virus From Beyond The Grave...B-)  Smallpox!!

See also here: http://rybicki.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/an-actual-killer-virus-that-could-rise-from-the-grave/

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my family started the 1924 smallpox epidemic

I occasionally dabble in genealogy, the only hobby I have that has nothing to do with natural history or science. I’ve been most interested in my mother’s side of the family, which was a big mystery even when my grandmother was alive. My mom was an only child, but her mother came from a large family — of which only one sister was known. All her other siblings, cousins, ancestors…my grandmother was unclear on all their names or what became of them. All I knew was that she was raised on a farm in Amherstburg, Ontario (she remained a Canadian citizen her whole life) but her immediate family had come to live in Detroit sometime after 1900.

 From Bootstrap analysis blog:

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Three children die of smallpox in Khairpur: MOST UNLIKELY

Three children die of smallpox in Khairpur:  MOST UNLIKELY | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
KHAIRPUR - Three children died of smallpox in Therimirwah Taulka in Khairpur district.  Three children identified as Samander, Ashfaq, Farhan died at village Ajeeb Dasti near Tharimirwah.  According to the villagers, a total of seven children died...

 

 

 

 

This seems to be running around twitter, but methinks it's MOST UNLIKELY!

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PLoS Pathogens: Critical Role of Perforin-dependent CD8+ T Cell Immunity for Rapid Protective Vaccination in a Murine Model for Human Smallpox

PLoS Pathogens: Critical Role of Perforin-dependent CD8+ T Cell Immunity for Rapid Protective Vaccination in a Murine Model for Human Smallpox | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Vaccination is highly effective in preventing various infectious diseases, whereas the constant threat of new emerging pathogens necessitates the development of innovative vaccination principles that also confer rapid protection in a case of emergency.

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Skin-Deep Immunity | The Scientist

Skin-Deep Immunity | The Scientist | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
The smallpox vaccine was the first, and arguably most successful, vaccine ever put into practice, and it was scratched into the skin of individuals. With the invention of syringes and hypodermic needles, vaccination shifted toward administration directly into the muscle, under the assumption that it is better to get a vaccine straight into the body. But it turns out scientists may have had it right the first time.

Via Ed Rybicki
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Infectious diseases: Smallpox watch

Infectious diseases: Smallpox watch | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
Frozen mummies and envelopes of scabs could contain remnants of one of history's most prolific killers.
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It is Still Not Time to Destroy Small Pox Virus, Researchers Say

It is Still Not Time to Destroy Small Pox Virus, Researchers Say | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
U.S. researchers have urged the World Health Assembly (WHA) to not destroy the last remaining live strains of the Variola virus that causes small pox.
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Prediction of Steps in the Evolution of Variola Virus Host Range

Prediction of Steps in the Evolution of Variola Virus Host Range | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Variola virus, the agent of smallpox, has a severely restricted host range (humans) but a devastatingly high mortality rate. Although smallpox has been eradicated by a World Health Organization vaccination program, knowledge of the evolutionary processes by which human super-pathogens such as variola virus arise is important. By analyzing the evolution of variola and other closely related poxviruses at the level of single nucleotide polymorphisms we detected a hotspot of genome variation within the smallpox ortholog of the vaccinia virus O1L gene, which is known to be necessary for efficient replication of vaccinia virus in human cells. These mutations in the variola virus ortholog and the subsequent loss of the functional gene from camelpox virus and taterapox virus, the two closest relatives of variola virus, strongly suggest that changes within this region of the genome may have played a key role in the switch to humans as a host for the ancestral virus and the subsequent host-range restriction that must have occurred to create the phenotype exhibited by smallpox.

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Orthopoxvirus variola infection of Cynomys ludovicianus (North American Black tailed prairie dog)

Orthopoxvirus variola infection of Cynomys ludovicianus (North American Black tailed prairie dog) | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Prairie dogs infected with Orthopoxvirus monkeypox present with a clinical scenario similar to ordinary smallpox, including prodrome, rash, and high mortality. This study examines if Black-tailed prairie dogs can become infected with O. variola and serve as a surrogate model for the study of human smallpox disease.

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PLoS ONE: Side-by-Side Comparison of Gene-Based Smallpox Vaccine with MVA in Nonhuman Primates

PLoS ONE: Side-by-Side Comparison of Gene-Based Smallpox Vaccine with MVA in Nonhuman Primates | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it

Orthopoxviruses remain a threat as biological weapons and zoonoses. The licensed live-virus vaccine is associated with serious health risks, making its general usage unacceptable.

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In Vitro Characterization of a Nineteenth-Century Therapy for Smallpox

In Vitro Characterization of a Nineteenth-Century Therapy for Smallpox | Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca | Scoop.it
In the nineteenth century, smallpox ravaged through the United States and Canada. At this time, a botanical preparation, derived from the carnivorous plant Sarracenia purpurea, was proclaimed as being a successful therapy for smallpox infections.
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