Researchers share draft genome sequences of monkeypox virus

The draft genome indicates that the virus circulating outside Africa belongs to the West African clade

The draft genome indicates that the virus circulating outside Africa belongs to the West African clade

Researchers from the National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge (INSA), Lisbon, Portugal have shared the draft genome sequence of the monkeypox virus that is spreading rapidly in many European countries. The draft series was posted on the virolgical.org site.

The released draft genome sequence is approximately 92% of the reference sequence. The sample was obtained from a swab taken on May 4 from skin lesions from a male patient in Portugal. By May 19, Portugal had reported more than 20 laboratory-confirmed cases of monkeypox.

Concept genome sequence

Researchers from Belgium – the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp and the University of Antwerp, Antwerp – have also shared a draft genome sequence of monkeypox on the virolgical.org site. The researchers were able to reconstruct 98.9% of the genome.

The genome was sequenced based on a sample collected from a person in Belgium. The 30-year-old man in Belgium has a travel history to Lisbon, Portugal.

In the month of May 2022, there were many cases of monkeypox reported from at least 11 countries, and there were about 80 confirmed cases and 50 pending investigations. WHO tweeted on May 20.

According to the new scientist127 cases have been identified as of May 21. The cases are mainly from Europe – Portugal, UK, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Belgium – and the US

Monkeypox is not endemic to Europe or the US, but is endemic to some Central and West African countries. The virus is passed from one person to another through close contact with lesions, bodily fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials.

Phylogenetic Analysis

Based on a quick phylogenetic analysis of the draft genome, the researchers found that the virus now spreading beyond Africa belongs to the West African clade. According to the new scientistthe virus belonging to the West African clade is mild in nature.

“The phylogenetic analysis of the concept genome indicates that the 2022 virus belongs to the West African group and is most closely related to viruses related to the export of monkeypox virus from Nigeria to several countries in 2018 and 2019, namely the United Kingdom, Israel and Singapore”, write the Portuguese researchers.

And the genome sequenced from the male in Belgium appears to be closely related to the genome shared by the researchers from Portugal. Preliminary phylogenetic analysis clearly shows that the resulting genome belongs to the West African clade of MPXV [monkeypox] and is most closely related to the recently uploaded genome from the outbreak in Portugal, providing further evidence of substantial community dispersal in Europe,” the researchers from Belgium write. The increased number of cases from multiple countries has raised concerns about improved human-to-human transmission of the virus. Evidence for increased human-to-human transmission, which is only possible if the virus has undergone modifications to make it easily transmissible between humans, will come from detailed genome sequence analysis.

Virus transferability

According to the new scientistEstablishing increased transmissibility of the virus currently circulating in Europe, the US and Canada will take some time as monkey pox is a “major [around 200,000 DNA letters long] and complex genome”. The current outbreak outside Africa is the most widespread and also the largest to date.

According to Nature NewsMonkeypox has been detected in people who have not been in contact with people with monkeypox infection, suggesting that the virus may be spreading quietly. In a statement issued on May 20, the WHO’s regional director for Europe also said the “geographically dispersed nature of the cases across Europe and beyond indicates that the handover may have been underway for some time”. Also, except in one case, there has been no history of travel to areas in West or Central Africa where monkeypox virus is endemic.

Monkeypox usually causes very visible skin lesions and therefore cannot go unnoticed. The silent spread, if true, could mean the virus can also spread without causing symptoms in some infected people. If monkeypox can indeed spread asymptomatically, it would make it more difficult to detect the virus, said Andrea McCollum, an epidemiologist at CDC Atlanta. Nature News

“As more samples are sequenced, it should become clear whether, as suspected, a single variant of monkeypox is responsible for all cases in the latest outbreak,” the statement said. new scientist notes.


SOURCE – www.thehindu.com

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