News & Perspective

Oct 25, 2002

Oct 25, 2002

CDC notes 25th anniversary of world's last smallpox case

(CIDRAP News) – The world's last naturally acquired case of smallpox occurred almost exactly 25 years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes in today's issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The smallpox case occurred in the Merca District of Somalia on Oct 26, 1977, the CDC says. Less than 3 years later, in May 1980, the World Health Organization declared the world free of naturally occurring smallpox.

Jun 11, 2002

Jun 11, 2002

Protein that foils complement system may be key to smallpox virulence

Jun 10, 2002 (CIDRAP News) – The smallpox virus has a protein that inhibits the human complement system far more effectively than does its counterpart protein in the closely related vaccinia virus, used in smallpox vaccine, according to researchers who compared the two proteins. This difference may be an important reason for the virulence of smallpox and may offer an avenue for research on treatments, they suggest.

Feb 12, 2002

Feb 12, 2002

Animal study suggests that adding killed spores could improve anthrax vaccine

(CIDRAP News) – An anthrax vaccine made by combining a component of the anthrax toxin with killed anthrax spores has been tested successfully in animals, according to a report in the February issue of Infection and Immunity. The report suggests that a similar vaccine for humans could be safer and more effective than the acellular vaccine now in use.