Monkeypox: 87% of household samples still contaminated after 15 days

Coronavirus, Fomites, Genome, Health, Healthcare, Infection, Monkeypox, PCR, Research, Testing, Texas, Transmission, USA

Of the 31 environmental swab samples collected by the CDC from the property of a person infected with monkeypox, 87% were still contaminated with the virus after 15 days.

In July 2021, we conducted environmental sampling at the residence of a person in Dallas, Texas, USA, who had travel-associated human West African monkeypox virus (MPXV-WA). Targeted environmental swab sampling was conducted 15 days after the person who had monkeypox left the household.

Results indicate extensive MPXV-WA DNA contamination, and viable virus from 7 samples was successfully isolated in cell culture. There was no statistical difference (p = 0.94) between MPXV-WA PCR positivity of porous (9/10, 90%) vs. nonporous (19/21, 90.5%) surfaces, but there was a significant difference (p<0.01) between viable virus detected in cultures of porous (6/10, 60%) vs. nonporous (1/21, 5%) surfaces.

Overall, 27 (87%) samples amplified MPXV-WA DNA, and the mean cycle threshold (Ct) value was 25.83 (range 16.14–36.74).

These findings indicate that porous surfaces (e.g., bedding, clothing) may pose more of a MPXV exposure risk than nonporous surfaces (e.g., metal, plastic). Viable MPXV was detected on household surfaces after at least 15 days. However, low titers (<102 PFU) indicate a limited potential for indirect transmission.

CDC: Environmental Persistence of Monkeypox Virus on Surfaces in Household of Person with Travel-Associated Infection, Dallas, Texas, USA, 2021



Preprint: Monkeypox virus contamination in an office-based workplace environment





Photo by Point3D Commercial Imaging Ltd. on Unsplash