NIH, Wuhan were working on Monkeypox


Dr. Campbellā€™s Notes

  • Wuhan Institute of Virology published on monkeypox research 3 months ago
  • NIH also have been researching monkeypox treatment: NIH SOURCE
  • Total funding, $9,824,009
  • The funding supports a clinical trial to identify effective treatments for monkeypox
  • A re-emerging pathogen
  • A disease of epidemic potential
  • Causes significant morbidity and can result in death
  • Human cases have been increasing in sub-Saharan Africa since 2000
  • Sporadic outbreaks outside of Africa have occurred
  • Similarity between MPXV and the variola virus
  • Coupled with concerns about the potential of the variola virus as a potential bioterrorism agent, have placed monkeypox treatments at the forefront of public health and scientific research agendas in many countries.

Article in Virologica Sinica?

Science Direct

  • Efficient assembly of a large fragment of monkeypox virus genome as a qPCR template using dual-selection based transformation-associated recombination (Feb 2022)
  • Since MPXV infection has never been associated with an outbreak in China, the viral genomic material required for qPCR detection is unavailable.
  • Using viral DNA recombinations
  • Transformation-associated recombination (TAR), to assemble large DNA constructs
  • A 55-kb genomic fragment of monkeypox virus in VL6-48B (yeast cells)

What is Virologica Sinica?

Science Direct

  • Virologica Sinica, the official journal of Chinese Society for Microbiology, will serve as a platform for the communication and exchange of academic information and ideas in an international context.

Discussion section

  • However, this DNA assembly tool applied in virological research could also raise potential security concerns, especially when the assembled product contains a full set of genetic material that can be recovered into a contagious pathogen.
  • Recently, a group of scientists was funded by a biotech company to synthesize a full-length horsepox virus genome and recover it into an infectious virus (Noyce et al., 2018).
  • Not surprisingly, such a controversial achievement has received enormous attention and raised global debate on its biosecurity implications (DiEuliis et al., 2017; Koblentz, 2017, 2018; DiEuliis and Gronvall, 2018).
  • In this study, although a full-length viral genome would be the ideal reference template for detecting MPXV by qPCR, we only sought to assemble a 55-kb viral fragment, less than one-third of the MPXV genome.
  • This assembly product is fail-safe by virtually eliminating any risk of recovering into an infectious virus while providing multiple qPCR targets for detecting MPXV or other Orthopoxviruses (Li et al., 2010). OurWorldInData MonkeyPox
  • Spreading through [sexual contact]
  • UK: Cases, + 11 = 190
  • UK have ordered 20,000 doses of a smallpox vaccine
  • Offered to close contacts of those diagnosed with monkeypox
  • Reduce the risk of symptomatic infection and severe illness

Dr Rosamund Lewis, WHO:

  • It’s very important to describe this because it appears to be an increase in a mode of transmission that may have been under-recognised in the past
  • Unfortunate if monkeypox exploit the immunity gap left by smallpox 40 years ago
  • There is still a window to close the outbreak