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Monkeypox: The first genome from the latest outbreak shows a link to the 2018 strain

The draft sequence of the virus responsible for the outbreak of rapidly growing monkeypox shows that it is most closely associated with the strains detected in the United Kingdom, Singapore and Israel in 2018 and 2019.


May 20, 2022

Electron micrograph of monkeypox virus

CDC / Cynthia S. Goldsmith

The First draft genome Some of the viruses responsible for the rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak have been released online by the Portuguese team. The DNA sequence indicates that it is a mild West African type and is most closely associated with the monkeypox virus. Detected in the UK2018 and 2019 Singapore and Israel.

What is still unclear is whether there are any changes that make the virus more likely to be transmitted to humans. This explains why the current outbreak is so widespread and the largest ever. Outside Central and West Africa, The place where the virus spreads to monkeys. Given that monkeypox has a large and complex genome, this may take some time to establish.

At the time of this writing, there were 127 confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox in 10 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, and researchers believe the actual number is even higher.

João Paulo Gomes and colleagues National Institute of Health In Portugal, a sequence of samples taken from a male patient was performed on May 4. Teams from other countries are also sequencing virus samples from outbreaks, but Gomes’ team is the first team to publish the sequence.

Gustabo Palacios The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York states that the draft sequence from Portugal is too gapped to draw a firm conclusion, but has seen a more complete sequence from the Belgian team. “As far as I can see, it’s similar to the one in the UK in 2018,” says Palacios. “It’s a little weird.”

In 2018, three cases occurred in the United Kingdom after someone returning from Nigeria infected two other members of the family.

As more samples are sequenced, it should become clear, as suspected, whether a single variant of monkeypox is responsible for all cases of recent outbreaks.

However, it’s not easy to see if this variant has something unique.even now Very well studied SARS-CoV-2 virus, It is difficult to associate a particular mutation with a change in the infectivity of the virus, etc. The monkeypox virus is much larger, about 200,000 characters long compared to the 30,000 RNA characters of the coronavirus, and has not been studied at least so intensively so far.

“Further sequencing and analysis is underway.” Team member Vitor Borges who tweeted..

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Monkeypox: The first genome from the latest outbreak shows a link to the 2018 strain

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