Origin and Evolution of Poxviruses

John W. Barrett, Grant McFadden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

19 Scopus citations


The family Poxviridae is a large and diverse family of double-stranded DNA viruses with ubiquitous distribution. Poxviruses parasitize invertebrates, birds, reptiles and mammals suggesting that the family Poxviridae is an ancient virus family. The genomes are linear and encode a large complement of genes. Essential viral functions are clustered in the central region of the genome and a core group of critical genes are conserved among all poxviruses. In contrast, species-specific genes, necessary for host infection and virus virulence, are maintained near the termini. The success of the poxvirus family members is based on the acquisition of cellular genes that have evolved under viral/host selection to permit the virus to modulate the host immune response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOrigin and Evolution of Viruses, Second Edition
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780123741530
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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