Investigation of the Effects of Previous Smallpox Vaccination against Monkeypox Disease: A Systemic Review

Document Type : Systematic Review


1 Department of Science, Farhangiyan University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Malayer University, Malayer, Iran

3 Integrative Oncology Department, Breast Cancer Research Center, Motamed Cancer Institute, ACECR, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Monkeypox is an uncommon viral disease caused by a type of orthopoxvirus, and it is considered a zoonotic ailment, meaning it can be transmitted between humans and animals. Following the successful eradication of smallpox, the monkeypox virus has emerged as the most pathogenic virus within the orthopoxvirus family. Initially, it was primarily confined to central and west Africa. However, in 2022, the extensive outbreak of monkeypox in regions beyond its traditional boundaries raised significant concerns for the World Health Organization and the global health community.
Materials and Methods: This systematic review involved the utilization of Scopus, PubMed, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Science Direct databases, spanning the time period from 1972 to February 18, 2023. The primary aim was to gather data regarding the correlation between prior vaccination against chickenpox and the subsequent development of immunity against monkeypox. Any articles that did not align with the specific objectives of this study were deliberately excluded during the research selection process.
Results: The majority of studies have established the efficacy of prior vaccination in providing protection against monkeypox. Given that monkeypox now represents a substantial threat to global health security, there is an imperative need for a prompt, multidisciplinary approach that involves veterinarians, physicians, virologists, and public health experts. This approach should facilitate swift follow-up actions, encompassing the development of vaccination methods, diagnostic assays, and other control strategies.
Conclusions: Given the demonstrated effectiveness of prior smallpox vaccination in safeguarding against monkeypox, it is imperative to prioritize the establishment of resources equipped with valuable knowledge for prevention initiatives. This includes the development of appropriate vaccines for proactive preparedness.