Monkeypox virus (MPXV) is a zoonotic double-stranded DNA enveloped virus that belongs to the orthopoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae family, which also includes variola (VARV), cowpox (CPX), and vaccinia (VACV) viruses. The monkeypox virus is endemic to Africa with two distinct genetic groups (clades): the west African clade and the central African (Congo Basin) clade.
In May 2022. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a new monkeypox outbreak caused by a strain linked to the west African clade, which was also responsible for the 2018–19 international outbreak. The latest episode is spreading considerably more than previous outbreaks, with thousands of cases reported in over 60 countries, prompting the WHO to declare a global health emergency on July 23, 2022.
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Monkeypox Diagnosis and Prevention
Monkeypox is primarily diagnosed by molecular testing using PCR. However, very recent research suggests that monkeypox infections can be asymptomatic, which indicates the potential need for wider testing and isolation policies among people exposed to the virus (https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.07.04.22277226). If screening expands to individuals exposed to active monkeypox cases, then testing may need to include molecular testing on blood specimens and serology-based immunoassays that can detect acute subclinical and asymptomatic infections. In previous monkeypox outbreaks, such as the one in 2003 in the United States, serologic assays provided significant diagnostic support. Monkeypox IgM capture assays were able to distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals with a sensitivity and specificity of 95% (https://doi.org/10.1128/CDLI.12.7.867-872.2005).
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