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vaccinia

Pronunciation: vak-sin'e-a

Definition: An infection, primarily local and limited to the site of inoculation, induced in humans by inoculation with the vaccinia virus, type species in the genus Orthopoxvirus (family Poxviridae) to confer resistance to smallpox. On about the third day after this vaccination, papules form at the site of inoculation, which are transformed into umbilicated vesicles and later pustules; they then dry up, and the scab falls off on about the 21st day, leaving a pitted scar; in some cases there are more or less marked constitutional disturbances. Because of the global elimination of smallpox, routine vaccination is not now practiced.

Synonym(s): primary reaction, vaccina, variola vaccine, variola vaccinia, variola vaccinia

[L. vaccinus, relating to a cow, fr. vacca, a cow]

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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