By Gary M. White, MD
Photograph courtesy Michal O. Murphy, MD
Progressive vaccinia (also known as "Vaccinia gangrenosum," and "Vaccinia necrosum") is a rare cutaneous condition caused by the vaccinia virus, characterized by painless, but progressive, necrosis and ulceration.
- The vaccinia virus was used to eradicate small pox.
- It is still used today as the agent of smallpox vaccination, e.g. in the military.
- The vaccinia virus, the cowpox virus and smallpox virus are all closely related. Because of poor record keeping, the exact relationship between the vaccinia virus and the other two is unknown [Wikipedia].
- Rarely, when vaccinating with vaccinia virus, cutaneous reactions may occur.
Sycosis Vaccinatum. A man who had been in close physical contact someone who had received the smallpox vaccination. JAMA Derm 2015;151;799.
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