Vaccinia virus morphogenesis and dissemination

Trends Microbiol. 2008 Oct;16(10):472-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2008.07.009. Epub 2008 Sep 12.


Vaccinia virus is the smallpox vaccine. It is the most intensively studied poxvirus, and its study has provided important insights about virus replication in general and the interactions of viruses with the host cell and immune system. Here, the entry, morphogenesis and dissemination of vaccinia virus are considered. These processes are complicated by the existence of two infectious vaccinia virus particles, called intracellular mature virus (IMV) and extracellular enveloped virus (EEV). The IMV particle is surrounded by one membrane, and the EEV particle comprises an IMV particle enclosed within a second lipid membrane containing several viral antigens. Consequently, these virions have different biological properties and play different roles in the virus life cycle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Viral
  • Humans
  • Vaccinia / transmission*
  • Vaccinia / virology
  • Vaccinia virus / genetics
  • Vaccinia virus / physiology*
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism
  • Virus Internalization
  • Virus Replication


  • Viral Proteins