Mpox, smallpox and the increasing threat of orthopoxvirus epidemics




Smallpox, Mpox, orthopoxvirus, Epidemic, pandemic


An epidemic of clade I mpox in the Democratic Republic of Congo, low population immunity to orthopoxviruses and advances in synthetic biology should be the triggers to raise our level of preparedness for resurgent orthopoxvirus epidemics.

Author Biography

C Raina MacIntyre, University of New South Wales

Professor Raina MacIntyre (MBBS Hons 1, M App Epid, PhD, FRACP, FAFPHM) is Professor of Global Biosecurity at the Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney. She is a dual-specialist physician with extensive track record in infectious diseases, vaccines and transmission dynamics of pathogens. As Head of the Biosecurity Program, she leads research in epidemiology, vaccinology, bioterrorism prevention, mathematical modelling, public health and clinical trials in infectious diseases. Her research includes personal protective equipment, vaccinology, epidemics of emerging infectious diseases and bioterrorism prevention. She is an expert in influenza epidemiology, adult vaccination, bioterrorism and rapid epidemic intelligence and has led the largest body of research internationally on face masks and respirators in health care workers. She has a 20 year track record in public health control of infectious diseases including vaccinology, surveillance and program design. She has over 370 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Her research is underpinned by extensive field outbreak investigation experience. She is a graduate of the Australian Field Epidemiology Training program and has extensive experience in shoe-leather epidemiology of infectious diseases outbreaks. Her in-depth understanding of the science of outbreak investigation draws from this experience combined with her clinical training as a specialist physician and her academic training through a Masters and PhD in Epidemiology. Her passion for field epidemiology led her to co-found the ARM network for Australian field outbreak response. She also has an interest in the ethics of medicine, and specifically in dual-use research of concern in the fields of synthetic biology and genetic engineering, and the risk this poses to biosecurity. She is on editorial boards for Vaccine, BMJ Open and Epidemiology & Infection, and has served on numerous expert committees including for WHO, IOM and OIE. She was won numerous awards for her research including the Sir Henry Wellcome Medal from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, the National Immunisation Award from Public Health Association of Australia, and the Frank Fenner Prize for advanced research in infectious diseases. See:




How to Cite

MacIntyre, C. R. (2024). Mpox, smallpox and the increasing threat of orthopoxvirus epidemics. Global Biosecurity, 6(1).



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