The structural polypeptides of accepted species and recently isolated members of the genus have been examined by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The viruses shared many polypeptides but some differences were found. The viruses could be divided into a vaccinia group (including buffalopox, ‘Lenny’ and MK-10), an ectromelia group (including elephant virus and Moscow virus), cowpox, camelpox and monkeypox. Minor differences were found in the polypeptides of monkeypox virus strains from human and monkey outbreaks. Controlled degradation of virions showed that the polypeptides which enabled the viruses to be differentiated were located in the surface and sub-surface layers. The cores of the viruses all gave the same complex polypeptide pattern.


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