ICMR-NIV Study: Monkeypox Strain in India Different from Europe

HEALTHCARE

A team from Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV), Pune, have found that the monkeypox virus strain circulating in the country is different from the strain that caused devastating events in Europe, which leads to a global outbreak of the disease.

The team has also conducted genetic sequencing of two monkeypox cases from Kerala. The data showed that the COVID-19 virus strain present in the country is A.2, that had recently imported to India from the Middle East. The strain was earlier present in the United States and Thailand during 2021 outbreak.

Although, the strain that has caused superspreader events in Europe, which was due to B.1. Vinod Scaria, scientist at CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), said the present sustained human to human transmission of the monkeypox virus is still believed to have happened through superspreader events in Europe with more than 16,000 cases now spread across over 70 countries.

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He also said this is largely represented as the B.1 strain lineage of the monkeypox virus and encompass the predominant lineage for genomes in 2022. He noted that A.2 strain is in contrast to the majority of the genomes across the world which generally belong to B.1 lineage, and the A.2 cluster, which was seen in India, and is not been a suggestive superspreader event.