Poxviruses comprise a large family of complex DNA viruses that have vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. Two poxviruses, variola virus and molluscum contagiosum virus, are specific human pathogens. Variola virus was the cause of smallpox until the latter was eradicated but is still feared because of potential use a biological weapon. Molluscum contagiosum virus causes benign skin lesions in immunocompetent infants and a more severe and widespread disease in immunodeficient adults. In addition, several animal poxviruses can be transmitted to humans as zoonosis. The most serious of these is monkeypox, which has an estimated human mortality of 1 to 10%. The poxviruses express a large number of host immune evasion genes that contribute to virulence. The purpose of this project is to increase our understanding of poxvirus pathogenesis and the basis for immunity to poxviruses.A human genome-wide RNAi screen was conducted to determine host factors that impact poxvirus replication.

Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Zip Code
Liu, Shin-Wu; Wyatt, Linda S; Orandle, Marlene S et al. (2014) The D10 decapping enzyme of vaccinia virus contributes to decay of cellular and viral mRNAs and to virulence in mice. J Virol 88:202-11
Americo, Jeffrey L; Sood, Cindy L; Cotter, Catherine A et al. (2014) Susceptibility of the wild-derived inbred CAST/Ei mouse to infection by orthopoxviruses analyzed by live bioluminescence imaging. Virology 449:120-32
Sivan, Gilad; Martin, Scott E; Myers, Timothy G et al. (2013) Human genome-wide RNAi screen reveals a role for nuclear pore proteins in poxvirus morphogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110:3519-24
Shinoda, Kaori; Wyatt, Linda S; Irvine, Kari R et al. (2009) Engineering the vaccinia virus L1 protein for increased neutralizing antibody response after DNA immunization. Virol J 6:28
Taub, Dennis D; Ershler, William B; Janowski, Mark et al. (2008) Immunity from smallpox vaccine persists for decades: a longitudinal study. Am J Med 121:1058-64
Sood, Cindy L; Ward, Jerrold M; Moss, Bernard (2008) Vaccinia virus encodes I5, a small hydrophobic virion membrane protein that enhances replication and virulence in mice. J Virol 82:10071-8