The virus was found in the sperm of 7 patients and was able to replicate in the laboratory in one case. In Italy so far 29 cases have been confirmed, almost all men
The virus responsible for monkeypox can be present in the semen of a person with this disease in one form capable of replication . This was stated in a note by the Lazzaro Spallanzani Institute, explaining that the virus was isolated in the institute’s laboratories from the seminal fluid taken from a patient 6 days after the onset of fever and, in cell culture, proved to be capable of infecting and replicating in the laboratory. So far – the note continues – the presence of the genetic material of the virus has been detected in the seminal fluid of 6 of the 7 patients studied at Spallanzani, but in this case the virus has also been isolated in culture.
The hypothesis of (also) sexual transmission
Researchers are conducting further studies on the duration and persistence of the virus in sperm and other biological materials, to fully understand the mechanisms of human-to-human transmission of this virus. The discovery could particularly shed light on the role of sexual transmissionhypothesized in the context of the current outbreak which involved over 1,000 cases, reported by 28 countries around the world where this infection is not endemic.
Just a few days ago the Spallanzani researchers published in the latest issue of Eurosurveillance, the scientific journal of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), an article describing the first four cases of monkeypox observed in Italy, all men. From the analysis of epidemiological and clinical data and from the study of the various biological samples in which the virus was identified, the hypothesis of transmission by direct contact during sexual intercourse was already considered very plausible. Characteristics of the affected population, as well as reported exposure to multiple sexual contacts without condoms, suggest that human-to-human transmission through close physical contact in sexual networks plays a key role in the current outbreak. Further studies are needed to evaluate the presence, persistence and contagiousness of monkeypox in different body fluids., we read in the conclusions of the article. The researchers, who had already reported the presence of the virus in the seminal fluid of some patients, had explained on the occasion that many other viruses that cause viraemia can be found in semen without direct evidence of sexual transmission. The virus may persist even if it is unable to replicate within the reproductive tract. However, Spallanzani has now clarified, continuing with the investigations, that the virus taken from the patient’s sperm was able to replicate in the laboratory.
Cases around the world
Meanwhile they rise to 29 cases of monkeypox recorded in Italy to June 8. The figure emerges from an update document of the World Health Organization published on 10 June. The highest numbers in the WHO European area are highlighted in Great Britain with 321 cases, Spain with 259 and Portugal with 191. As of June 8, 1285 laboratory confirmed cases and one probable case was reported by 28 countries in four WHO regions where monkeypox was uncommon or had not previously been reported. No deaths have been reported in these four regions. an increase in cases is expected. Most cases involve young men, who self-identify as men who have sex with other men (MSM). The clinical presentation is generally described as mild, with most cases presenting with lesions on the genitals or peri-genital area, indicating that transmission likely occurred through close physical contact during sexual activities.
How is monkeypox transmitted?
The monkeypox virus can spread with close contacts, through body fluidsthe contact with skin and respiratory droplets as a result, health care workers, family members and sexual partners are more at risk of infection. Lesions in the oral cavity or on the skin of an infected individual are contagious, as are the sheets or clothes that have been in contact with the pus emitted by the blisters. Recently it has been hypothesized by the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the transmission, albeit rare and non-dominant, of the virus through aerosol and at first he suggested using the mask to protect himself from monkeypox, only to then turn around and cancel the recommendation (the same thing happened with the coronavirus airborne transmission). On the subject, the World Health Organization, already accused by a large part of the scientific community for having recognized the transmission of Covid via aerosol late, despite strong requests, stressed that as regards monkeypox and the hypothesis of an airborne transmission of the virus much remains to be clarified.
June 11, 2022 (change June 11, 2022 | 16:55)
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