Spanish scientists have deciphered the genome of the monkeypox virus circulating around the world

(ORDO NEWS) — As noted in the Kingdom’s Ministry of Health, researchers for the first time managed to completely sequence the genome of this virus.

Scientists from the Institute of Health Carlos III (Madrid, Spain) managed to completely sequence the genome of the monkeypox virus, which has 190 thousand base pairs.

The results confirmed that the current worldwide outbreak of this rare infectious disease originated in West Africa.

“The Carlos III Institute of Health has achieved 100% sequencing of the virus: this allows us to confirm that the variant of these cases corresponds to the West African, the mildest known.

For the first time in Europe, complete sequencing of this virus was achieved in samples taken from 23 patients, ” the Spanish Ministry of Health said .

Spanish samples are almost the same as those studied by specialists from other countries, in particular Portugal , Belgium, Germany and the United States of America.

According to the staff of the Carlos III Health Institute, they identified less than five single nucleotide substitutions that distinguished this genome from what the German scientists had sequenced.

Thanks to the complete deciphering of the virus genome, scientists will conduct a phylogenetic analysis that will clarify the relationship between samples from Spain and other countries, to better understand the behavior, origin and circulation of zoonosis.

Monkeypox belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus of the family Poxviridae (poxviruses). The first cases of the disease among animals – in fact, monkeys – were registered in the 50s of the twentieth century in Africa, and in humans it was detected 20 years later in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Since 2003, imported cases have been reported in the US, UK, Israel and Singapore. There are two lines of the virus: the Central African clade (or Congo Basin clade) and the West African clade, which belongs to the least virulent pathogen that is spreading around the world today.

Since then, the number of patients has exceeded 230 (about a hundred cases have not yet been confirmed) in at least 20 countries, the latest being Finland.According to representatives of the World Health Organization, this may be just the “tip of the iceberg”.

Nevertheless, experts see no reason to start mass vaccination, as well as to impose bans or restrictions on travel between states.

Vaccination selectively – for those who have been in contact with the infected – will begin in the Canadian province of Quebec and Denmark; a similar option is being considered in the UK and France.


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