Monkeypox DNA Sequencing Hints Virus Circulating Since 2017: Report


Monkeypox DNA Sequencing: The recent surge in the monkeypox cases has made everybody vigilant about them. Everyone including doctors and researchers want to analyze the source of monkeypox virus transmission.

As per the latest information in this regard, it has come out that monkeypox virus might have been spreading since 2017 outside African countries. This was revealed after scientists analyzed its DNA.

At this time, the virus is known to be endemic in Central and Western African regions. With that, it’s the first time when such an outbreak has been spreading its wings outside Africa.

As per a report from the UK, sudden and continued appearance of monkeypox in so many countries at the same time mainly suggests that there might be undetected transmission of this virus for the last some time.

The UK team of researchers conducted genome sequencing of the monkeypox virus to grab more detail.

They found that the virus causing new cases to spread closely related to small number of such cases that were earlier detected in countries like the UK, Singapore, Nigeria and Israel between 2017 and 2019.


Also Read: UNAIDS Calls Out Homophobic & Racist Coverage of Monkeypox


Monkeypox DNA Sequencing Helped Unearth Virus Transmission

Monkeypox DNA Sequencing done by the research team basically came to the conclusion after finding 42 of 47 changes in DNA.

The changes that were seen in DNA spotted in TA, or GA to AA. A group of a specific human related enzyme known as APOBEC3.

The function of this enzyme is to defend the growth of virus by simply inducing mutations in their DNA resulting the above kinds of changes.

This is what the report suggests, “If these APOBEC3 edits are specifically indicative of replication in humans as opposed to another host species then this would confirm this entire clade to be representative of the emergence of a human epidemic by 2017,” it read.

The report also suggests that 3 of 10 monkeypox viruses in the US spotted some notable differences and are known to have somewhat related to the 2017 virus. The above data was sent by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

All the above 3 cases found earlier were traced in people who had travelled to some specific countries like Middle East and Africa between 2021 and 2022.

Now, the rate of infection might have relied on some independent instances where virus might have jumped from some specific animal reservoir to humans.

But as most of them had the presence of APOBEC3-like mutations, it has the possibility that monkeypox could have been spreading quite widely in humans in Africa since 2017.


Also Read: Monkeypox Virus Infection: Europe’s Red Alert, Nations Told to Prepare Vaccine Strategies