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Increased outbreaks of monkeypox highlight gaps in actual disease burden in Sub-Saharan Africa and in animal reservoirs

Haider, Najmul; Guitian, Javier; Simons, David; Asogun, Danny; Ansumana, Rashid; Honeyborne, Isobella; Velavan, Thirumalaisamy P; ... Zumla, Alimuddin; + view all (2022) Increased outbreaks of monkeypox highlight gaps in actual disease burden in Sub-Saharan Africa and in animal reservoirs. International Journal of Infectious Diseases , 122 pp. 107-111. 10.1016/j.ijid.2022.05.058. Green open access

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Abstract

We explain research gaps on Monkeypox (MPX) virus epidemiology in endemic countries and present hypotheses for the recent increase of MPX cases in West Africa as a possible explanation for the current epidemic in Europe, America, and Australia. The detection of >400 MPX cases in less than a month in May 2022, across many countries underscores the epidemic potential of MPX in humans and demonstrates several important research gaps. First, the true burden of MPX in West and Central Africa is poorly understood, although it is critical for prevention and control of future outbreaks. Second, the diversity and extent of the animal reservoir remain unknown. We hypothesize that the synanthropic rodent population has increased in recent years in Africa leading to more human-rodent interactions and thus increased transmission of MPXV. We further hypothesise that nearly 45 years after the end of routine smallpox vaccination, the larger and more interconnected immune-naïve population has crossed a threshold resulting in more sustainable human-to-human transmission of MPXV. The current epidemic in the Western World is possibly a consequence of increased local transmission of MPXV in Africa. A new estimation of the basic and effective reproduction rate (R0 and Re) in different populations is required. National, regional, and international collaborations are needed to address research gaps related to MPX outbreaks.

Type: Article
Title: Increased outbreaks of monkeypox highlight gaps in actual disease burden in Sub-Saharan Africa and in animal reservoirs
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijid.2022.05.058
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2022.05.058
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Monkeypox virus, MPX, outbreaks, West Africa, Nigeria, Reservoirs, smallpox vaccine
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Infection and Immunity
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10149943
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