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Intrafamilial Transmission of Vaccinia virus during a Bovine Vaccinia Outbreak in Brazil: A New Insight in Viral Transmission Chain

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  • Laboratório de Vírus, Departamento de Microbiologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais, Brazil; Laboratório de Sanidade Animal, Hospital Veterinário, Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Agropecuárias, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Campos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Bovine vaccinia (BV) is an emerging zoonosis caused by the Vaccinia virus (VACV), genus Orthopoxvirus (OPV), Poxviridae family. In general, human cases are related to direct contact with sick cattle but there is a lack of information about human-to-human transmission of VACV during BV outbreaks. In this study, we epidemiologically and molecularly show a case of VACV transmission between humans in São Francisco de Itabapoana County, Rio de Janeiro state. Our group collected samples from the patients, a 49-year-old patient and his son. Our results showed that patients had developed anti-OPV IgG or IgM antibodies and presented neutralizing antibodies against OPV. The VACV isolates displayed high identity (99.9%) and were grouped in the same phylogenetic tree branch. Our data indicate that human-to-human VACV transmission occurred during a BV outbreak, raising new questions about the risk factors of the VACV transmission chain.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Erna Geessien Kroon, Av. Antônio Carlos, 6627, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 31270-901. E-mail: kroone@icb.ufmg.br

Financial support: Financial support was provided by CNPq, CAPES, FAPEMIG, and MAPA. GST and EGK received a fellowship from CNPq.

Authors' addresses: Graziele Pereira Oliveira, André Tavares Silva Fernandes, Felipe Lopes de Assis, Pedro Augusto Alves, Ana Paula Moreira Franco Luiz, Leandra Barcelos Figueiredo, Jônatas Santos Abrahão, Giliane de Souza Trindade, and Erna Geessien Kroon, Laboratório de Vírus, Departamento de Microbiologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais, Brazil, E-mails: graziufmg@yahoo.com.br, fernandeserthal@gmail.com, felipelopesassis@gmail.com, pedroaugustoalves@yahoo.com.br, anapaulamluiz@gmail.com, leandrabio@yahoo.com.br, jonatas.abrahao@gmail.com, gitrindade@yahoo.com.br, and kroone@icb.ufmg.br. Cláudia Maria Costa de Almeida and Carlos Eurico Pires Ferreira Travassos, Laboratório de Sanidade Animal, Hospital Veterinário, Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Agropecuárias, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Campos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, E-mails: calmeida@uenf.br and cakatrav@uenf.br.

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