Science Library Abstract
Published: 2008

Three gene variations are associated with adverse reactions to smallpox vaccination.  


Genetic Basis for Adverse Events Following Smallpox Vaccination


Reif DM, McKinney BA, Motsinger AA, Chanock SJ, Edwards KM, Rock MT, Moore JH, Crowe Jr. JE. Genetic basis for adverse events following smallpox vaccination. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2008;198(1):16-22.


A pair of NIH-funded studies identified three genetic variations that make people more susceptible to systemic adverse events following smallpox vaccination. By studying the smallpox vaccine, the researchers focused on a vaccine historically noted for frequently causing adverse reactions in population-wide vaccination programs. In the two studies, 16/96 and 24/46 individuals experienced systemic adverse events after vaccination, and three candidate genes (MTHFR, IRF1 and IL4) had the strongest association with the adverse events. In susceptible individuals, “vaccination appears to trigger an acute inflammatory response that is excessive.”

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