variola virus

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The virus (q.v.) that causes smallpox, a disease responsible for more deaths throughout human history than all armed conflicts. Worldwide use of the smallpox vaccine (q.v.) led to the eradication of the disease. The remaining stocks of the virus are stored under constant surveillance at two laboratories, one at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and the other at the Research Institute for Viral Preparations in Moscow, Russia. See Genome Sizes and Gene Numbers.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.

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