Definition: A family of large complex viruses, with a marked affinity for skin tissue, which are pathogenic for humans and other animals. Virions are large, up to 250 × 400 nm, and enveloped (double membranes). Replication occurs entirely in the cytoplasm of infected cells. Capsids are of complex symmetry and contain double-stranded DNA (MW 160 × 106), the nucleoprotein antigen being common to all members of the family. Several genera are recognized, including: Orthopoxvirus, Avipoxvirus, Capripoxvirus, Leporipoxvirus, and Parapoxvirus.
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