New hope to eliminate pox viruses

The discovery that the protein D13 is common to poxvirus and viruses that infect bacteria could be of of interest to both evolutionary and public health researchers.

“Being common to both families of viruses means D13 may have existed in its current form for billions of years. These viruses have been on separate development paths for a long time,” said one of the study authors. “These long-distance evolutionary links are difficult to find and can only be discovered using technology like X-ray crystallography using the Australian Synchrotron.”

Scientists now hope to develop drugs that will target D13 and block the formation of poxvirus. Smallpox, a member of the pox virus family, is known to have been eradicated.

Read more at Monash University