Belgium sequenced the genome of the monkeypox virus

According to the results of analysis and research, microbiologist Emmanuel André said that the virus causes monkey pox have much more complex DNA than RNA viruses. Meanwhile, there is currently little good quality data on parent strains that can be compared and determined whether monkeypox virus has mutated in Europe.

Belgium sequenced the gene of monkeypox virus - 1

Monkeypox virus viewed under a microscope at the Robert Koch Research Institute of the German federal government, May 23, 2022. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

To date, most of the genomes of the monkeypox virus analyzed are from the same ancestor as the West African strain and less virulent than the two original Central African strains. The team suspects that the newly reported cases in Europe all come from the same strain of the virus, although it cannot be determined with certainty.

Earlier this month, scientists also sequenced the virus gene from a patient sample of a person with monkeypox in Portugal and determined that the strain of the virus that this person had contracted was similar to the strain recorded in Spain. UK 2018.

According to Professor of Biology and Immunology Eric Muraille of the Free University of Brussels (ULB), one should not be subjective when assessing the extent of the spread of monkeypox in Europe, despite the current rate of transmission. only low level. Because, according to this professor, if not neutralized in time, the disease can be transmitted from humans to some family pets and form virus reservoirs that are difficult to eliminate.

Professor Muraille emphasized that the emergence of many cases in Western countries now suggests that the virus may have been quietly spreading for some time. Therefore, this is an important time for disease control and all measures must be taken to cut the chain of infection to avoid the risk that monkeypox will become an endemic disease in Europe. According to Professor Muraille, all discriminatory attitudes towards patients at this time make them afraid to hide the disease and make it difficult to trace and study the path of this virus.

Also according to Professor Muraille, because Europe is not the usual environment for monkeypox virus, this virus has about 200 genes that evolve very slowly with little risk of causing dangerous mutations, so what needs to be done now. is to precisely sequence the genes and track the evolution of this virus.

Up to now, 118 cases of monkeypox have been recorded in 12 European countries, excluding the UK, according to data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Belgian and international health officials assess that this virus does not spread as quickly as corona virus, even slower than common smallpox. The disease is spread by close contact through lesions on the skin, but the sick person usually clears up on their own.

However, the appearance of cases of human-to-human transmission simultaneously in both the US and Europe now shows somewhat the abnormality of this virus, which requires the implementation of many synchronous solutions such as isolation. pathogens, medical care, close-contact vaccination, and large-scale gene sequencing of the virus that is spreading in the United States and the West.

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