Research May Help Fight Smallpox
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; 5B
Researchers are beginning a study of monkeypox, looking for those who were infected but did not become ill in hopes of finding ways to protect against smallpox in the future, and trying to discover how much immunity adults currently have from childhood smallpox immunizations. The smallpox vaccine protects against monkeypox. The study is being performed by Oregon Health & Science University's Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, and it will look for 100 people who were exposed to humans or prairie dogs with monkeypox but who developed no symptoms. Their blood will be checked for monkeypox antibodies and white blood cells, and the research may lead to a new and possibly safer smallpox vaccine. Institute director Jay Nelson says that the university hopes to use the results to get federal bioterrorism funds for more vaccine research on pox viruses.