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Monkeypox outbreak highlights need for preventative approach to prevent future zoonotic diseases

Monkeypox outbreak highlights the need for a One Health approach to prevent future zoonotic diseases

Colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (turquoise) found in an infected cell (brown) cultured in a laboratory. Image acquired and color enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD)

The current global outbreak of monkeypox is yet another warning to take a preventive approach to minimize the risk of future introductions of known and unknown zoonotic pathogens, argue Professors Diane Bell and Andrew Cunningham.

Scholars who wrote a comment published in KABI United Health magazine, say the world “cannot afford to ignore another warning” such as that of monkeypox, which has so far reported 62,406 cases in 104 countries and 19 deaths.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although clinically less severe.

With the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and subsequent cessation of smallpox vaccination, monkeypox has become the most important public health orthopoxvirus, according to the WHO. Monkeypox mainly occurs in central and western Africa, often near rainforests, and is increasingly occurring in urban areas. A number of African rodents appear to be natural hosts for monkeypox virus.

Professor Bell, Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of East Anglia (UEA), and Professor Cunningham, Associate Director for Science of the ZSL Institute of Zoology, ZSL (Zoological Society of London), talk about the unintended consequences of smallpox eradication and smallpox eradication. The vaccination campaign was to “make the world’s population, for the first time in history, immunologically insensitive to orthopoxvirus infection”.

Professors Bell and Cunningham, in their commentary, state: “This happened at a time when most people around the world live in cities with high population density and when connectivity around the world has never been so high, which contributes to the emergence and spread of infectious diseases.”

“It is therefore not surprising that new zoonotic orthopoxvirus infections have increased in recent years or that there has been an international outbreak of monkeypox disease.”

“A One Health approach, including consideration of land-use change and trade in bushmeat and exotic pets, is essential to prevent the possibility of monkeypox or diseases caused by other orthopoxviruses, and to respond quickly and effectively to any outbreaks in order to contain them. Spread”.

Researchers identify three examples where monkeypox has a pathway and where a One Health approach to prevention is particularly needed: land-use change, the bushmeat trade, and the pet trade.

For example, in relation to the bushmeat trade, Professors Cunningham and Bell suggest that the Gambian giant pouched rat, which is a possible carrier of the monkeypox virus, “is commonly eaten because of its relatively large size and is therefore of particular interest as a potential source of zoonotic disease.” infections.”

They add that despite extensive legislation banning the importation of endangered taxa or any bushmeat from Africa, significant amounts of bushmeat are smuggled into personal luggage into major cities in Europe and the US on passenger flights from countries in West and Central Africa where monkeypox is endemic. wild animals.

In the pet trade, scientists say the 2003 outbreak of monkeypox in six US states was linked to a shipment of 800 live small mammals imported from Ghana to Texas. Virological testing of some of these animals revealed MPV infection in three dormice, two rope squirrels, and at least one Gambian giant pouched rat.

Professors Bell and Cunningham say: “Demand is global due to intercontinental smuggling, including South America and Asia, as well as Africa and Europe, which is fueling the crisis of biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services and increasing the threat of human exposure to known and unknown pathogens living in the wild. nature along trade routes and within countries of destination.

In conclusion, they suggest that a preventive approach to preventing further outbreaks of zoonotic diseases could include promoting bushmeat alternatives, regularly vaccinating people at high risk of infection, and educating people about hygiene procedures such as wearing gloves when handling live and dead wildlife.

EU approves smallpox vaccine for use against monkeypox

Additional Information:
Monkeypox: We can’t afford to ignore another warning KABI United Health (2022). DOI: 10.1079/cabionehealth20220005

Provided by KABI

Quote: Monkeypox outbreak highlights the need for a preventative approach to prevent future zoonotic diseases (September 22, 2022), retrieved September 22, 2022 from -future.html

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