All 5 case-patients were negative for cowpox virus
, monkeypox virus, F.
Virtually all batches of modern smallpox vaccine contain no cowpox virus
, but instead what is called vaccinia virus.
is carried by rodents, chiefly voles and woodmice.
The vaccinia virus (Lister strain) plasmid was named pVACV-List143, the cowpox virus
(Brighton strain) plasmid named pCPXV-V162, and the monkeypox virus Zaire strain plasmid named pMPXV-A29L.
In 1790 an English country doctor named Edward Jenner noticed that milkmaids appeared not to contract the disease, an observation that ultimately led to the use of the cowpox virus
as a vaccine against smallpox.
There was a time when most schoolchildren knew that in 1770 Edward Jenner, a physician in rural England, observed that milkmaids who contracted cowpox virus
on their hands were immune to the far more dangerous smallpox.
But the vaccines were made using the benign cowpox virus
, and surely we can keep that for our defence.
Cobra is not however involved in a second treatment, a cancer vaccine based on the cowpox virus
What value would we have placed on the cowpox virus
before Jenner, or on a penicillin mold before Fleming, or on a wild rubber tree before Goodyear?
Coincidentally or not, some zoonotic orthopoxvirus species are re-emerging in an increasing and alarming number of cases worldwide, including vaccinia virus in Brazil and India (2), monkeypox virus in Africa (3,4), cowpox virus
in Europe and Asia (5), and novel orthopoxvirus-related strains in the United States (in Alaska and Georgia) (6-8).
In the 19th century, Jenner discovered that inoculation of people with cowpox virus
led to smallpox immunity.
The new vaccine, called MVA85A by researchers, consists of weakened cowpox virus
that has been genetically engineered to make a protein normally found on the surface of M.