Preprint: Monkeypox has far more mutations than expected
“Researchers found the current Monkeypox strain diverges from the original strain by 50 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and several mutations made the virus more transmissible.”
The authors also said the 50 SNPs that diverge from the original strain are far more (roughly sixfold to 12-fold more) than one would expect considering previous estimates of the substitution rate for orthopoxviruses, which typically have 1 to 2 substitutions per site per year.
The authors said the outbreak was likely not caused by undetected silent spread, or from an animal-to-human crossover event. Instead, “Current data points for a scenario of more than one introduction from a single origin, with superspreader event(s) (e.g., saunas used for sexual encounters) and travel abroad likely triggering the rapid worldwide dissemination.”
Preprint: Multi-country outbreak of monkeypox virus – phylogenomic characterization and signs of microevolution
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