NewsWorldMonkeypox, from Portugal first virus sequence: link with strain...

Monkeypox, from Portugal first virus sequence: link with strain 2018

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The first sequence of the virus responsible for the rapidly growing monkeypox epidemic in several countries, all not endemic to the disease, arrives from Portugal. Surprisingly, the scientists behind the sequencing of the viral genome explain, it appears “more closely related” to the strains detected in 2018 and 2019 in the UK, Singapore and Israel that monkeypox from the latest outbreak shows links to strain of 2018 Read also DNA sequence shows that it is of the mild West African type. The Portuguese sequencing team has published information from the first draft of the viral genome online, as reported by ‘New Scientist’. It is still unclear, experts explain, whether this virus has any changes that make it more transmissible in humans, which would explain why the current outbreak is so widespread and by far the largest seen outside Central Africa. and western, where the virus spreads to monkeys. This may take some time to establish, as monkeypox has a large and complex genome. To make a comparison with the Sars-CoV-2 virus, the monkeypox virus is much larger and has about 200,000 letters of DNA, compared to the 30,000 RNA of the coronavirus. So determining if there’s anything unique about this variant won’t be easy, the researchers admit. “Further sequencing and analysis are underway,” tweeted a member of the Portuguese team of scientists, Vitor Borges. João Paulo Gomes and colleagues from the Portuguese National Institute of Health sequenced a sample taken from a male patient on May 4. Teams from other countries are also sequencing viral samples from the outbreak, but Gomes’s team is the first to go public with a sequence. Gustavo Palacios of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, says the draft sequence from Portugal has too many gaps to draw firm conclusions, but that he saw a more complete sequence from a team in Belgium. “As far as I can see, it appears to be identical to the one in the UK in 2018,” says Palacios. “This is a bit strange,” he says. In 2018, there were three cases in the UK after someone returning from Nigeria infected two other members of his family. As more samples are sequenced, it should become clear whether, as suspected, a single variant of monkeypox is responsible for all cases in the latest outbreak.

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