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The poxvirus is a DNA virus consisting of multiple branches with the ability to infect animals and/or humans. While monkeypox virus infections are causing outbreaks in humans worldwide and causing skin and systemic diseases and even death, the immunomodulatory and immunosuppressive properties of other viruses such as the myxoma virus are of interest in human medicine in the areas of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. As an experienced service provider in the life sciences industry, Creative Biolabs offers a one-stop solution in providing reliable viral products and virus-related drug development for the application of viruses in human cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Background of Myxoma Virus
Myxoma virus is an infectious poxvirus belonging to the genus Leporipoxvirus, which is native to the Americas, especially the west coast of the USA, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. Most of the rabbits and hares are susceptible to the virus. At present, myxoma virus is enzootic in the Americas, Europe, and Australia. Myxoma virus causes localized benign fibromas in wild rabbits (Sylvilagus species) in the Americas, while it leads to lethal disseminated myxomatosis in European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), resulting in 100% mortality. The clinical symptoms of infected European rabbits initiate from fever, swelling, and blepharoconjunctivitis, then mostly die within 48 hours when showing clinical signs. Myxoma virus is transmitted by direct contact, contaminated fomites, or by indirect mechanical vectors including mosquitoes, fleas, and other biting insects.
Fig.1 Myxomatosis in a laboratory rabbit, showing generalized facial lesions. (MacLachlan, 2011)
Pathogenesis of Myxoma Virus
Myxoma virus can evade the immune system by blocking the caspase activity and producing tumor necrosis factor receptor homologs to decrease the natural response to TNF. Myxoma virus initially replicates in dermal cells, then spreads to local macrophages and epidermal cells, and ultimately spreads to the draining lymph node. The virus replication within the draining lymph node leads to lymphoid depletion and further spreads via blood leukocytes to distal tissues, which results in swelling.
Potential Application of Myxoma Virus in Human Medicine
The reason for the ability of the myxoma virus to evade the immune system is due to the virus encodes a wide range of immunomodulatory proteins to prevent the innate defense mechanism to eliminate cells. For example, M-T2 protein is a secreted tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) homolog that suppresses apoptosis by inhibiting rabbit TNF. Exploiting the immunomodulatory and immunosuppressive effects of myxoma-encoded proteins, oncolytic viral therapeutic to treat human cancer and targeting agents for patients with systemic inflammatory syndromes can be developed.
Myxoma Virus Services at Creative Biolabs
The critical steps in the myxoma virus lifecycle occur in the cytoplasm of the infected cell, including cell attachment and entry, gene expression, uncoating of the viral core, replication, and viral assembly. Creative Biolabs offers comprehensive viral products and specialized solutions equipped with high quality and sensitivity high-throughput screening, artificial intelligence, and in vitro and in vivo platforms, which enable our clients to investigate the mechanisms involved in infectious virus lifecycle and discovery potential drugs targeting each process to treat human diseases. If you have the intention to learn more about our myxoma virus services, please feel free to contact us.
MacLachlan, N. J.; Dubovi, E. J. Poxviridae. Fenner's Veterinary Virology. 4th ed. London: Academic. 2011: 151-65.