smallpox virus structure diagramsmallpox virus structure smallpox virus virion (virus particle) graphicSmallpox virus particle (virion) smallpox virus life cycle or replication diagram Smallpox virus life cycle
STATUS OF SMALLPOX: ERADICATION & BIOTERROR: Although smallpox was declared extinct in the wild in 1979 (last natural infection recorded in 1977) there is increasing concern about its potential use as a biological weapon. Although only two locations officially hold variola (one at the CDC in the USA and one in Russia) it is feared that secret stockpiles exist. Variola has been weaponised in Russia and there is currently concern about bioterrorism. A bioterrorist attack using smallpox (or some variant thereof) could be devastating and the UK and USA are buying vaccines against smallpox.


SOME NOTES ON THE POXVIRUSES: The poxviruses are the most complex animal viruses known. They infect both vertebrates (Chordopoxvirinae) and insects (Entomopoxvirinae). Amongst the Orthopoxvirus, which infect mammals, some of the better known members are: Variola (smallpox), Vaccinia, Cowpox, Monkeypox and Camelpox.
FOR INFORMATION ON VIRUSES ENTERING CELLS please see virus entry into animal cells from Ed Rybicki.

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