Human monkeypox: current state of knowledge and implications for the future

Brown, Katy, and Leggat, Peter A. (2016) Human monkeypox: current state of knowledge and implications for the future. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, 1 (1). 8. pp. 1-13.

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The zoonosis human monkeypox (MPX) was discovered in 1970, twelve years after the discovery of monkeypox virus (MPXV) in a Danish laboratory in 1958. Historically confined to West Africa (WA) and the Congo basin (CB), new epidemics in Sudan and the United States of America (USA) have fuelled new research highlighting environmental factors contributing to the expanded geographical spread of monkeypox virus (MPXV). A systematic literature review was conducted in MEDLINE® (Ovid), MEDLINE® (PubMed) and Google Scholar databases using the search terms: monkeypox, MPXV and “human monkeypox”. The literature revealed MPX has classic prodromal symptoms followed by a total body rash. The sole distinguishing clinical characteristic from other pox-like illnesses is the profound lymphadenopathy. Laboratory diagnosis of MPX is essential, a suitable test for endemic areas is under development but not yet available. For the time being anti-poxvirus antibodies in an unvaccinated individual with a history of severe illness and rash can suggest MPX infection. The reservoir host remains elusive yet the rope squirrel and Gambian pouched rat appear to be the most likely candidates. Transmission includes fomite, droplet, direct contact with infected humans or animals and consumption of infected meat. Though smallpox vaccination is protective against MPXV, new non-immune generations contribute to increasing incidence. Environmental factors are increasing the frequency of contact with potential hosts, thus increasing the risk of animal-to-human transmission. Increased risk of transmission through globalisation, conflict and environmental influences makes MPX a more realistic threat to previously unaffected countries. Health worker training and further development and accessibility of suitable diagnostic tests, vaccinations and anti-viral treatment is becoming increasingly necessary.

Item ID: 47684
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2414-6366
Keywords: human monkeypox; monkeypox; MPXV; MPX
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© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution(CC-BY) license (

Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2017 23:24
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3207 Medical microbiology > 320705 Medical virology @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420605 Preventative health care @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine @ 50%
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