Newspaper La Jornada
Friday, July 1, 2022, p. 16
Rome. The presence of monkeypox virus in semen
It’s not weird or randomaccording to a study by Italian researchers, the first to detect it in semen during a preliminary study.
According to Francesco Vaia, director of the Spallanzani hospital in Rome, an institution specializing in infectious diseases, the results of a preliminary study released on June 2 show that the DNA of the virus has been detected in three out of four men suffering from this disease.
“This discovery shows that the presence of the virus in sperm is not rare or random, Vaia told AFP, regarding the study, which has not yet been officially published.
An increase in monkeypox cases has been detected since the beginning of May in Europe. In the countries of central and western Africa the disease has been endemic for a long time.
More than 3,400 confirmed cases and one death have been reported this year by the World Health Organization (WHO) in around 50 countries where the disease is not endemic.
The vast majority of cases have been detected in young men who have had sex with other men, according to the WHO.
We do not consider (this virus) as a sexually transmitted infectionstressed last week Meg Doherty, director of the WHO’s global programs on HIV AIDS, hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases.
Italian experts are trying to determine how long the virus remains in semen after the onset of symptoms.
In one patient, the DNA of the virus was detected three weeks after the onset of symptoms, even after the lesions had disappeared, a phenomenon that Vaia says has been seen in the past in viral infections such as Zika.
The researchers also study vaginal secretions to detect the possible presence of the virus.
During a first study, they had observed, through the cultivation of the virus in the laboratory, that it was
present in semen as a contagious virus and capable of reproducingaccording to Vaia.
A key question remains unanswered: can the smallpox vaccine protect against monkeypox?
To study that, we have to look at people vaccinated 40 years ago, before smallpox was eradicated..