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Monkeypox virus: From emergence and evolution to the development of anti-viral strategies
Date(s) 09/10/2012 - 4:00 p.m.
Location Macfarlane Auditorium
Presenter Sara C. Johnston, Ph.D. Research Microbiologist, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Virology Division
Description Abstract: The Orthopoxvirus genus of family Poxviridae contains numerous virus species that are capable of causing severe disease in humans, including variola virus (the etiological agent of smallpox) and monkeypox virus. Monkeypox is endemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and is characterized by systemic lesion development and prominent lymphadenopathy.  Monkeypox prevalence in the DRC has increased dramatically since the cessation of active smallpox vaccination.  Like variola virus, it is a high priority pathogen due to its potential to cause serious disease with significant health impacts following zoonotic, accidental, or deliberate introduction into a naïve population.  Although a vaccine exists, it is highly reactogenic and contraindicated for a growing number of people.  Current efforts have focused on the development of safer alternatives and therapeutics to treat active infections.  Recently, we showed the in vitro efficacy of IFN-ß against monkeypox virus.  In addition, we found that IFN-ß was effective when administered up to 12 hours post infection, demonstrating its therapeutic potential.  Collectively, the data support the continued development of IFN-ß as a treatment for monkeypox virus as well as other Orthopoxviruses including variola virus.
Cost Free

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