Monkeypox strain in India different from ‘superspreader events’: ICMR

Scientists from India have discovered that the monkeypox virus strain that is now prevalent in the nation is distinct from the one that triggered “superspreader events” in Europe and resulted in a widespread illness epidemic. Two cases of monkeypox from Kerala were genetically sequenced by a team from the National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV), a division of the Indian Council of Medical Research, in Pune.

The information revealed that the virus strain in the nation is A.2, which was only recently brought into India from the Middle East.

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Before the 2021 epidemic, it was present in Thailand and the US. However, B.1 was the strain that led to superspreader occurrences throughout Europe.

“With 16,000+ cases already dispersed over 70+ nations, the current sustained human-human transmission of the monkeypox virus is thought to have occurred through superspreader events in Europe. This generally corresponds to the virus’s B.1 lineage, which will make up the majority of genomes in 2022 “CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) scientist Vinod Scaria tweeted.

He pointed out that the majority of genomes in the globe are of the B.1 lineage, in contrast to A.2, and that the A.2 cluster seen in India is “not indicative of a superspreader event.”

According to Scaria, “this would suggest” that the country’s instances “are not plausibly related to the European superspreader incidents.”

“We may be seeing a separate cluster of human-to-human transmission that has gone unnoticed for some time. The oldest sample in the US cluster is in fact from 2021, indicating that the virus has been there for a while and predates the events in Europe “Added he.

As additional instances are reported, he advised stepping up genetic monitoring throughout the nation and perhaps sequencing every case.

“These new findings need to be taken into account in public health policies and communications. Many more instances might be found by extensive testing and awareness, “added Scaria.