Phylogenomic characterization of the primary genome sequences of the monkeypox virus outbreak variant
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In a latest research posted to the Research Square* preprint server, researchers characterised infections brought on by the monkeypox virus (MPXV).

Study: Multi-country outbreak of monkeypox virus: phylogenomic characterization and indicators of microevolution. Image Credit: Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock

Monkeypox is brought on by MPXV belonging to the Orthopoxvirus genus, which additionally includes the variola virus, which causes smallpox. The pure reservoir of MPXv is unknown; nonetheless, rodents and non-human primates have been reported to harbor the virus, which might result in viral spillover to people.

About the research

In the current research, researchers used the high-throughput shotgun metagenomics to reconstruct the preliminary genomic sequences of the MPXV related to the worldwide monkeypox outbreak.

The staff analyzed the primary MPXV sequence associated to the outbreak, which was launched for public information on 20 May 2022 by Portugal. The researchers additionally assessed the extra 15 MPXV genomic sequences launched on the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) earlier than 27 May 2022, with ten sequences sourced from Portugal and one every from the USA, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Slovenia. 

The staff subsequently recognized the outbreak index case, bearing in mind the 5 to 21 days anticipated incubation interval. The preliminary monkeypox instances have been reported in varied international locations over three weeks after the primary case was reported within the United Kingdom on 7 May 2022.


The research outcomes confirmed that the primary genomic sequence of the MPXV outbreak belonged to the West African (WA) viral clade. This MPXV was generally reported from Sierra Leone to western Cameroon and had a case-fatality ratio (CFR) of lower than 1%, in comparison with MPXV from the Central African (CA) clade, which has a CFR of greater than 10%.

The staff famous that the MPXV sequenced within the outbreak clustered collectively, which indicated that the present monkeypox outbreak originated from a single source. The outbreak cluster for the infections brought about in 2020 shaped a divergent department, which descended from a department with viruses associated to the exportation of MPXV from an endemic nation to the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Israel in 2018 and 2019. This additional had a genetic hyperlink to a big monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria from 2017 to 2018, which prompt that the monkeypox outbreak in 2022 resulted from latest importations of MPXV from an endemic nation.  

The staff additionally discovered that the 2022 MPXV sequences differed by a mean of fifty single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the 2018 and 2019 sequences. Such divergence indicated a latest evolutionary bounce. Moreover, among the many 46 SNPs that divided the 2022 MPXV sequence from the closest reference sequence of the virus, three of the amino acid substitutions have been discovered within the immunogenic floor glycoprotein B21R.

Further evaluation confirmed the primary indicators of the microevolution of MPXV throughout human-to-human transmission through the outbreak. The staff discovered 15 rising SNPs among the many 15 outbreak sequences assessed within the research. Moreover, a sub-cluster of two sequences was recognized that shared a frameshift deletion in a gene that codes for an ankyrin/host vary.      


Overall, the research findings confirmed the evolutionary course of the 2022 MPXV outbreak and highlighted the potential pathways that the virus targets for potent infections. The researchers imagine that viral genome sequencing supplied adequate decision to surveil the dynamics of viral transmission and the unfold of the outbreak.   

*Important discover

Research Square publishes preliminary scientific studies that aren’t peer-reviewed and, due to this fact, shouldn’t be considered conclusive, information medical apply/health-related habits, or handled as established data.

Journal reference:

  • João Paulo Gomes, Joana Isidro, Vitor Borges et al. Multi-country outbreak of monkeypox virus: phylogenomic characterization and indicators of microevolution. Research Square. doi:


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