Special Issue "Smallpox and Emerging Zoonotic Orthopoxviruses 2.0: What Is Coming Next?"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Viruses".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jônatas Abrahão
Website
Guest Editor
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Interests: giant viruses; large viruses; evolution; host–virus interactions
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Hermann Meyer
Website
Guest Editor
Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, Neuherbergstr. 11, 80937 Munich, Germany
Interests: poxviruses; diagnostics; PCR; NGS; bioterrorism; biosafety; biosecurity
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forty-two years ago, in 1977, the last known natural case of smallpox was reported in Somalia. Subsequently, in 1980, following a historic global campaign of surveillance and vaccination, the World Health Assembly declared smallpox to be eradicated. This achievement was certainly reached by a well-coordinated campaign, involving brilliant minds from basic poxvirology, vaccinology, epidemiology, and public health organs.

However, after the smallpox eradication, vaccination campaigns gradually ceased. A lack of vaccinations nevertheless creates a growing population of people now susceptible to infection by poxviruses, previously covered by the smallpox vaccine. These include the orthopoxviruses monkeypox, cowpox, and vaccinia virus. Coincidently or not, in the last decades, an increasing number of cases involving these zoonotic OPVs has been described. This has raised concerns, not only with regard to the (re-)emergence of OPVs, but also about the intentional use of, in particular, the variola virus in bioterrorism attacks. Thus, understanding the epidemiology of zoonotic OPVs is in the interest of public health.

In 2017, Viruses published a successful Special Issue on this topic, with 29 papers from many of the most important experts in the field. In 2019–2020, we will reopen this popular Special Issue for new submissions, in which we welcome the poxvirus community to submit research papers or review articles related to all aspects of orthopoxvirus research, from historical reports to the description of new orthopoxvirus strains. Phylogenetic and epidemiological studies are welcome, as well as papers covering topics like bioterrorism, medical countermeasures, and studies of basic and host–virus relationships.

Prof. Dr. Jonatas Abrahao
Prof. Dr. Hermann Meyer
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • poxvirus
  • smallpox
  • variola virus
  • cowpox virus
  • vaccinia virus
  • monkeypox virus
  • bioterrorism
  • vaccine
  • antiviral

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (3 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
In Vivo Characterization of a Bank Vole-Derived Cowpox Virus Isolate in Natural Hosts and the Rat Model
Viruses 2020, 12(2), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12020237 - 20 Feb 2020
Abstract
Cowpox virus (CPXV) belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus in the Poxviridae family and is endemic in western Eurasia. Based on seroprevalence studies in different voles from continental Europe and UK, voles are suspected to be the major reservoir host. Recently, a CPXV was [...] Read more.
Cowpox virus (CPXV) belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus in the Poxviridae family and is endemic in western Eurasia. Based on seroprevalence studies in different voles from continental Europe and UK, voles are suspected to be the major reservoir host. Recently, a CPXV was isolated from a bank vole (Myodes glareolus) in Germany that showed a high genetic similarity to another isolate originating from a Cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus). Here we characterize this first bank vole-derived CPXV isolate in comparison to the related tamarin-derived isolate. Both isolates grouped genetically within the provisionally called CPXV-like 3 clade. Previous phylogenetic analysis indicated that CPXV is polyphyletic and CPXV-like 3 clade represents probably a different species if categorized by the rules used for other orthopoxviruses. Experimental infection studies with bank voles, common voles (Microtus arvalis) and Wistar rats showed very clear differences. The bank vole isolate was avirulent in both common voles and Wistar rats with seroconversion seen only in the rats. In contrast, inoculated bank voles exhibited viral shedding and seroconversion for both tested CPXV isolates. In addition, bank voles infected with the tamarin-derived isolate experienced a marked weight loss. Our findings allow for the conclusion that CPXV isolates might differ in their replication capacity in different vole species and rats depending on their original host. Moreover, the results indicate host-specific differences concerning CPXV-specific virulence. Further experiments are needed to identify individual virulence and host factors involved in the susceptibility and outcome of CPXV-infections in the different reservoir hosts. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Field Trial Vaccination against Cowpox in Two Alpaca Herds
Viruses 2020, 12(2), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12020234 - 20 Feb 2020
Abstract
In Europe, cowpox virus (CPXV) infection in South American camelids occurs as a so-called spill-over infection. Although infected animals generally have a mild form of the disease and survive, cases of fatal generalised CPXV infection have also been described. Prevention by prophylactic vaccination [...] Read more.
In Europe, cowpox virus (CPXV) infection in South American camelids occurs as a so-called spill-over infection. Although infected animals generally have a mild form of the disease and survive, cases of fatal generalised CPXV infection have also been described. Prevention by prophylactic vaccination is the only way to protect animals from disease. In the present study, modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vaccine, which has been successfully used in many animal species, was used in a prime-boost vaccination regimen in two alpaca herds with a history of CPXV infection. The focus of the study was the prevention of further clinical cases, and to determine the safety and immunogenicity of the MVA vaccine in alpacas. The MVA vaccine was well tolerated and safe in the 94 animals vaccinated. An indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) using MVA as an antigen showed that the seroprevalence of antibody after booster vaccination was 81.3% in herd I and 91.7% in herd II. Detectable antibody titres declined to 15.6% in herd I and 45.8% in herd II over a 12-month period after booster vaccination. Animals could be divided into four groups based on individual antibody titres determined over one year: Group 1 consisted of 19.3% of animals that were seropositive until the end of the trial period; Group 2 consisted of 58.0% of animals that were seropositive after booster vaccination, but seronegative one year later; Group 3 consisted of 14.7% of animals that were not seropositive at any time point; and Group 4 consisted of 7.9% of animals that were seropositive after initial immunisation, seronegative six months later, but seropositive or intermediate in IFA one year after immunisation, likely because of natural exposure. In new-born crias born to MVA-vaccinated mares, specific maternal antibodies were detected in 50.0% of animals up to 14 weeks of age. Our results confirm that MVA vaccination is a feasible tool for the prevention of CPXV disease in alpacas. Long-term studies are needed to verify future vaccination regimen in CPXV affected herds. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Smallpox in the Post-Eradication Era
Viruses 2020, 12(2), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12020138 - 24 Jan 2020
Abstract
Widespread vaccination programmes led to the global eradication of smallpox, which was certified by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and, since 1978, there has been no case of smallpox anywhere in the world. However, the viable variola virus (VARV), the causative agent of [...] Read more.
Widespread vaccination programmes led to the global eradication of smallpox, which was certified by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and, since 1978, there has been no case of smallpox anywhere in the world. However, the viable variola virus (VARV), the causative agent of smallpox, is still kept in two maximum security laboratories in Russia and the USA. Despite the eradication of the disease smallpox, clandestine stocks of VARV may exist. In a rapidly changing world, the impact of an intentional VARV release in the human population would nowadays result in a public health emergency of global concern: vaccination programmes were abolished, the percentage of immunosuppressed individuals in the human population is higher, and an increased intercontinental air travel allows for the rapid viral spread of diseases around the world. The WHO has authorised the temporary retention of VARV to enable essential research for public health benefit to take place. This work aims to develop diagnostic tests, antiviral drugs, and safer vaccines. Advances in synthetic biology have made it possible to produce infectious poxvirus particles from chemicals in vitro so that it is now possible to reconstruct VARV. The status of smallpox in the post-eradication era is reviewed. Full article
Back to TopTop