Monkeypox (Mpox) requires continued surveillance, vaccines, therapeutics and mitigating strategies
Roper RL, Garzino-Demo A, Del Rio C, Bréchot C, Gallo R, Hall W, Esparza J, Reitz M, Schinazi RF, Parrington M, Tartaglia J, Koopmans M, Osorio J, Nitsche A, Huan TB, LeDuc J, Gessain A, Weaver S, Mahalingam S, Abimiku A, Vahlne A, Segales J, Wang L, Isaacs SN, Osterhaus A, Scheuermann RH, McFadden G
The widespread outbreak of the monkeypox virus (MPXV) recognized in 2022 poses new challenges for public healthcare systems worldwide. With more than 86,000 people infected, there is concern that MPXV may become endemic outside of its original geographical area leading to repeated human spillover infections or continue to be spread person-to-person. Fortunately, classical public health measures (e.g., isolation, contact tracing and quarantine) and vaccination have blunted the spread of the virus, but cases are continuing to be reported in 28 countries in March 2023. We describe here the vaccines and drugs available for the prevention and treatment of MPXV infections. However, although their efficacy against monkeypox (mpox) has been established in animal models, little is known about their efficacy in the current outbreak setting. The continuing opportunity for transmission raises concerns about the potential for evolution of the virus and for expansion beyond the current risk groups. The priorities for action are clear: 1) more data on the efficacy of vaccines and drugs in infected humans must be gathered; 2) global collaborations are necessary to ensure that government authorities work with the private sector in developed and low and middle income countries (LMICs) to provide the availability of treatments and vaccines, especially in historically endemic/enzootic areas; 3) diagnostic and surveillance capacity must be increased to identify areas and populations where the virus is present and may seed resurgence; 4) those at high risk of severe outcomes (e.g., immunocompromised, untreated HIV, pregnant women, and inflammatory skin conditions) must be informed of the risk of infection and be protected from community transmission of MPXV; 5) engagement with the hardest hit communities in a non-stigmatizing way is needed to increase the understanding and acceptance of public health measures; and 6) repositories of monkeypox clinical samples, including blood, fluids, tissues and lesion material must be established for researchers. This MPXV outbreak is a warning that pandemic preparedness plans need additional coordination and resources. We must prepare for continuing transmission, resurgence, and repeated spillovers of MPXV.