Results of a new study in monkeys offer scientists a rare glimpse of how, on a molecular level, the smallpox virus attacks its victims. The findings shed light on how the virus caused mass death and suffering, and will help point the way to new diagnostics, vaccines and drugs that would be needed in the event of a smallpox bioterror incident.
The study, led by David Relman, M.D., of Stanford University, is now online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The research was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
"In light of todays concerns about bioterror attacks, we have an urgent need to know as much as possible about the workings of the smallpox virus and other bioterror agents," says Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of NIAID. "This new research fills in some of the gaps in our understanding of smallpox. Now we are better positioned to speed the development of protective measures."
Linda Joy | EurekAlert!
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