By Joshua Manning • 24 June 2022 • 11:42
Researchers identify origins of Monkeypox claiming humans have hosted virus since 2018
Credit: Twitter @sanidadgob
Researchers believe they have found the origins of the Monkeypox virus after cases in several countries have been detected with no known source of infection, pointing to what they believe is an undetected community spread, as reported by the NY Times.
Trevor Bedford, an evolutionary biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, claimed that the genetic information seen so far points to the fact that the monkeypox virus become better at spreading between people in the last few years.
“Genomic patterns would suggest this occurred around 2018,” stated Dr. Bedford.
Assuming that the virus has adapted humans as hosts, the outbreaks would potentially become more common and harder to contain, leading to the potential transfer of Monkeypox from humans to animals.
Sagan Friant, an anthropologist at Pennsylvania State University who studied human-animal interactions in Nigeria for about 15 years, stated:
“We can also transmit this back to animals that can spread the disease within wildlife and back to humans.”
“The longer it takes to contain the virus, the higher the odds that it will find a permanent new home in people or animals,” stated Dr Friant.
In May, researchers at Spain’s Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) reportedly obtained the first 100 per cent draft sequence of the Monkeypox virus obtained from the genomic analysis of samples from 23 patients.
The massive sequencing breakthrough in the Monkeypox virus allegedly confirmed that it is the West African variety that caused the outbreak, as reported by Spain’s ISCIII.
The report stated: “In addition, the sequencing has reached 100 per cent coverage of the 190,000 base pairs of the genome of this virus, which opens up the possibility of more advanced phylogenetic studies that will provide additional information on its behaviour and a better understanding of its origin, circulation and spread.
“This is one of the most complete sequences obtained to date.”
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Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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