Therapeutic Vaccines and Antibodies for Treatment of Orthopoxvirus Infections.

Article Details


Xiao Y, Isaacs SN

Therapeutic Vaccines and Antibodies for Treatment of Orthopoxvirus Infections.

Viruses. 2010 Oct;2(10):2381-2403. doi: 10.3390/v2102381.

PubMed ID
21197387 [ View in PubMed

Despite the eradication of smallpox several decades ago, variola and monkeypox viruses still have the potential to become significant threats to public health. The current licensed live vaccinia virus-based smallpox vaccine is extremely effective as a prophylactic vaccine to prevent orthopoxvirus infections, but because of safety issues, it is no longer given as a routine vaccine to the general population. In the event of serious human orthopoxvirus infections, it is important to have treatments available for individual patients as well as their close contacts. The smallpox vaccine and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) were used in the past as therapeutics for patients exposed to smallpox. VIG was also used in patients who were at high risk of developing complications from smallpox vaccination. Thus post-exposure vaccination and VIG treatments may again become important therapeutic modalities. This paper summarizes some of the historic use of the smallpox vaccine and immunoglobulins in the post-exposure setting in humans and reviews in detail the newer animal studies that address the use of therapeutic vaccines and immunoglobulins in orthopoxvirus infections as well as the development of new therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.

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