Concept

Vaccinia

Summary
Vaccinia virus (VACV or VV) is a large, complex, enveloped virus belonging to the poxvirus family. It has a linear, double-stranded DNA genome approximately 190 kbp in length, which encodes approximately 250 genes. The dimensions of the virion are roughly 360 × 270 × 250 nm, with a mass of approximately 5–10 fg. The vaccinia virus is the source of the modern smallpox vaccine, which the World Health Organization (WHO) used to eradicate smallpox in a global vaccination campaign in 1958–1977. Although smallpox no longer exists in the wild, vaccinia virus is still studied widely by scientists as a tool for gene therapy and genetic engineering. Smallpox had been an endemic human disease that had a 30% fatality rate. In 1796, the British doctor Edward Jenner proved that an infection with the relatively mild cowpox virus would also confer immunity to the deadly smallpox. Jenner referred to cowpox as variolae vaccinae (smallpox of the cow). However, the origins of the smallpox vaccine be
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