A group at Rome’s Spallanzani Hospital in Italy, which specialises in infectious illnesses, revealed in a examine printed on June 2 (2022) that monkeypox virus DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) was detected in the semen of three out of 4 men identified with the an infection.
They have since expanded their work, in response to director Francesco Vaia, who mentioned researchers have found the presence of monkeypox in the sperm of 14 infected men out of 16 studied.
“This discovering tells us that the presence of the virus in sperm isn’t a uncommon or random prevalence,” he mentioned.
He added: “The an infection may be transmitted throughout sexual activity by direct contact with pores and skin lesions, however our examine exhibits that semen will also be a automobile for an infection.”
Researchers at Spallanzani recognized Italy’s first instances of monkeypox, found in two men who had just lately returned from the Canary Islands.
The newest outcomes reported by Vaia haven’t but been printed or topic to look assessment.
Since early May (2022), a surge of monkeypox instances has been detected exterior of the West and Central African international locations the place the illness has lengthy been endemic.
Most of the brand new instances have been in Western Europe.
More than 3,400 confirmed instances and one loss of life have now been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from greater than 50 international locations this yr (2022) alone.
The overwhelming majority of instances to date have been noticed in men who’ve intercourse with men, of younger age, mainly in city areas, in “clustered social and sexual networks”, in response to the WHO.
It is investigating instances of semen testing constructive for monkeypox, however has maintained the virus is primarily unfold by shut contact.
Meg Doherty, director of the WHO’s world HIV, hepatitis and sexually-transmitted an infection programmes, mentioned final week: “We should not calling this a sexually-transmitted an infection.”
Spallanzani researchers are actually attempting to establish how lengthy the virus is current in sperm after the onset of signs.
In one affected person, virus DNA was detected three weeks after signs first appeared, even after lesions had disappeared – a phenomenon Vaia mentioned had been seen in the previous in viral infections similar to Zika.
That might point out that the danger of transmission of monkeypox might be lowered by the use of condoms in the weeks after restoration, he mentioned.
The Spallanzani group can be taking a look at vaginal secretions to review the presence of the virus.
A big discovering from the primary examine was that when the virus was cultured in the lab, it was “current in semen as a dwell, infectious virus, environment friendly in reproducing itself”, Vaia mentioned.
He cautioned that there remained many unanswered questions on monkeypox, together with whether or not antiviral therapies might shorten the time in which individuals with the virus might infect others.
Another is whether or not the smallpox vaccine might shield individuals from the monkeypox virus.
“To examine this, we’ll analyse individuals who have been vaccinated 40 years in the past earlier than human smallpox was declared to have disappeared,” he mentioned. – AFP Relaxnews