40 Years without smallpox

G. A. Shchelkunova, S. N. Shchelkunov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The last case of natural smallpox was recorded in October, 1977. It took humanity almost 20 years to achieve that feat after the World Health Organization had approved the global smallpox eradication program. Vaccination against smallpox was abolished, and, during the past 40 years, the human population has managed to lose immunity not only to smallpox, but to other zoonotic orthopoxvirus infections as well. As a result, multiple outbreaks of orthopoxvirus infections in humans in several continents have been reported over the past decades. The threat of smallpox reemergence as a result of evolutionary transformations of these zoonotic orthopoxviruses exists. Modern techniques for the diagnostics, prevention, and therapy of smallpox and other orthopoxvirus infections are being developed today.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-12
Number of pages9
JournalActa Naturae
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Chemotherapeutic drugs
  • DNA diagnostics
  • Evolution
  • Smallpox
  • Vaccine
  • Variola (smallpox) virus


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