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Encyclopedia > Vaccinia virus
Vaccinia virus
Scientific classification
Domain: Virus
(unranked) dsDNA viruses
Family: Poxviridae
Genus: Orthopoxvirus
Species: Vaccinia virus

Vaccinia is the condition resulting from infection with the Vaccinia virus. Vaccinia virus is closely related to the virus that causes cowpox. It is in the pox family of viruses, which also includes smallpox.

Vaccinia is so mild that it is typically asymptomatic in healthy individuals, but may causes a mild rash and fever, with an extremely low rate of fatality.

The body's immune response to vaccinia also immunizes against smallpox, and for this reason, vaccinia is used as a live-virus innoculator against smallpox. Vaccinia smallpox vaccine does not contain and cannot cause smallpox, but approximately one in one million individials will develop a fatal response to the vaccination.

Vaccinia vaccination was the first example of vaccination. Prior to the use of vaccinia, smallpox epidemics were controlled somewhat through the use of inoculation -- a deliberate, minor exposure to the disease. Vaccination derives its name from Vaccinia.

External links

  • Smallpox and Vaccinia (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/books/bv.fcgi?rid=vacc.chapter.3)
  • Vaccinia virus, complete genome (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genomes/framik.cgi?db=genome&gi=10393)
  • Cowpox virus strain GRI-90 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14718625) is the closest known match to vaccinia.

  Results from FactBites:
Vaccines -- Vaccination (1243 words)
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