TUESDAY July 21, 2020 (HealthDay News)

Scientists who identified the first ones smallpox tensions used to create vaccines against the disease claim that this type of genetic research could help efforts to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus.

Smallpox it was among the most dangerous viral diseases in human history, killing around three in 10 people who had been infected. Many of the survivors were disabled, blind or disfigured.

Soon vaccines it eventually led to the declared smallpox eradicated 40 years ago in the most successful vaccination program ever attempted. The success of the campaign and new genetic discoveries in the early years tensions used to create vaccines highlight the value of vaccination, according to the authors of the study published online in the journal on 20 July Genome biology.

Understanding of history, evolution and ways in which these virus can work like vaccines it’s extremely important in contemporary times, “said study co-author and evolutionary geneticist Hendrik Poinar, director of the Ancient DNA Center at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

“This work highlights the importance of looking at the diversity of these vaccine varieties discovered in the wild. We don’t know how many could provide cross protection from a wide range of virus, such as flus or coronavirus, “said Poinar, principal investigator at the university’s Institute for Research on Infectious Diseases.

In this study, researchers reconstructed and analyzed the genomes of smallpox virus fragments recovered from vaccination kits used during the civil war era. They were able to do this without damaging the artifacts.

Principal researcher Ana Duggan is a former postdoctoral student in McMaster’s anthropology department, who is now with Canada’s Public Health Agency. “Vaccination is a wonderful process with a rich medical history that we should be celebrating,” he said in a university press release.

“Medical museums are incredible archives of our past and our collective history. The new tools we develop in this work allow us to start studying how sources, procedures and medical techniques have changed over time,” added Duggan.

– Robert Preidt

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SOURCE: McMaster University, press release, 19 July 2020


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