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U. of Missouri Scientists Identify Viral Mutations Behind Recent Monkeypox Outbreak

U. of Missouri Scientists Identify Viral Mutations Behind Recent Monkeypox Outbreak

Cases are plummeting across the globe and emergency orders are expiring.

After reviewing strains collected over the past four decades, scientists at the University of Missouri have found mutations in the monkeypox virus, making it less responsive to medicines and, therefore, easier to spread.

“We need to know the problem before we can solve it,” said professor Kamal Singh, who specializes in molecular biology and pathology.

After studying the monkeypox timeline, the scientists used a computer model to map where mutations were located in the virus. Some virus mutations are close to where a vaccine or antibody would interact with the virus, and that could make some treatments less effective.

“Drugs go and bind a certain part of the protein, a certain part of the enzyme. That’s how they interfere with function,” Singh said.

Studying mutations and where they’re located can help scientists make better monkeypox vaccines and treatments, he said. Two of the three drugs used to treat monkeypox bind close to that mutation.

“And obviously, that mutation will affect the binding of these two drugs,” Singh said. “And that is one reason the drugs may not be as effective as we think.”

Scientists hope that by identifying the mutations, researchers can identify targets for new medications targeting the virus.

Meanwhile, cases of monkeypox are plummeting around the world.

…[T]he decline is now unmistakable. WHO Europe, which reported more than 2000 cases per week during the peak in July, is now counting about 100 cases weekly. In the Americas, the other major epicenter of the outbreak, numbers have dropped by more than half (see graphic, right). “We’re seeing a true decline,” Smallwood says.

Vaccines, behavior change among the most affected group—men who have sex with men (MSM)—and immunity after natural infection are all playing a role in that decline, says Erik Volz, an infectious disease modeler at Imperial College London, but how much each factor has contributed is unclear. “This is something we’ve debated a lot internally.”

The answer is important because it determines the likelihood of a resurgence of the virus. Knowing what has driven down cases so far will also help shape strategies to eliminate the virus outside endemic countries in Africa, a goal WHO Europe is already pushing for.

Emergency orders are now being rescinded in the wake of this development. This week, San Diego let its order expire.

County public health officials attribute the drop to outbreak response measures such as contact tracing and vaccinations. Since mid-October, the number of new monkeypox cases has remained at five or fewer per week.

“We have reached a point in our MPOX response where a local health emergency is no longer necessary, now that ample testing, treatment and vaccines are available,” said Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma J. Wooten.

She warned, however, that “the virus remains in the region and there is still work to be done in stopping its spread.”

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Comments

I’m patiently waiting for the red-hat flu. It is coming for those of us that dared to vote for Trump.

Monkeypox: the money pox wannabe.

“…—men who have sex with men (MSM)—” There is clearly a joke there somewhere. Mainstream media…..

Unlike the threat of Covid, or the common cold, I would have to be doing some pretty “uncommon” things with a carrier to get it.

Just what we need: another political disease.

I am puzzled. What does a decline in cases of a virus have to do with rescinding an emergency order related to the same?

We will never have another significant virial outbreak when I don’t wonder if it came out of a lab. There are literally thousands of labs working on gain of function. There were over 40 secret biolabs in Ukraine just working on Anthrax according to the Pentagon.

In addition to Covid-19, did the avian flu killing all our chickens come out of a lab? How about the new mysterious strain of Kennel Cough killing dogs? Was monkeypox an escapee from a CDC funded experiment?

The Gentle Grizzly | November 14, 2022 at 11:02 am

Off topic: for the regulars, my saga continues. I’m at the PET scan place waiting for the dye to circulate. I’ll find out the results in the next day or so. If the cancer has spread, I’ll need to make some decisions.

Wish me luck.

    I’m wishing—really hard. As well as pulling for you, hoping for you and praying for you.

      The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Peabody. | November 14, 2022 at 11:23 am

      Thank you.

      Way at the back of my mind, I’m wondering…. Did this come about from the Covid vaccine? I was sucker enough to do the first two shots but none after.

        Grizz,

        IMO, a person with existing issues that left them more vulnerable to Rona, such as yourself, was exactly correct to take the jab. Particularly true for older people who have less worries re long-term adverse effects than a teenager about the next 50 years.

        IOW don’t beat yourself up for your entirely rational choices. Luck to you!

        We didn’t know at the time Bear, don’t beat yourself up. They still are pushing this crap like no other.
        Might want to look at this, Ivermectin seems to help
        Clear up the spike proteins post shots…

        https://covid19criticalcare.com/treatment-protocols/i-recover/

        The definitive answer to that question right now is, “We don’t know.” I hope you get good news. If not, please head directly to the bleeding edge of technology, and get into a clinical trial. Researchers take meticulous care of their patients,

        Also, there are some researchers out there that get called quacks, … that aren’t.

        The person who alerted me to the early COVID-19 treatments was an HIV patient. There’s a huge library at NIH of treatments for HIV that apply generally to cancer and opportunistic viral diseases in patients with trashed immune systems. We’ve learned a lot about how the immune system works over the last 20 years. No individual doctor or team is capable of keeping track of all of it.

          The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Valerie. | November 14, 2022 at 5:56 pm

          Actually, I have already talked with the folks at UNC Chapel Hill. They saw what was already approved for me, and said i was better off than going into clinical trials, because what was approved is the state of the art now.

          My main worry is: ending up lashed up to machines, bedridden, with no quality of life. I will find a way out before that happens. Same if they find a brain tumor, or I have something nasty in my “lower tract”. Bags and tubes are not life.

    I wish you the very best. I am a cancer survivor and know what waiting for results does to one. I had a very aggressive cancer and am lucky to be alive . It’s allowed me to see my grandkids and be part of their life

    My prayers go out to you, and I will be praying our Gentle Bear

    BierceAmbrose in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | November 14, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    Have some luck.

    The magic, circulating dyes enhancers and so on mess you up way more than they’ll tell you. Plan on feeling like you have a cold, for a couple days after.

    BierceAmbrose in reply to The Gentle Grizzly. | November 14, 2022 at 1:58 pm

    Many treatments are kind of experimental — more so than they admit on the labeling; way more than our “Four legs good; two legs bad.” political classes can bleat. (Fetterman, Biden, n VP Harris, so damaged they can’t even bleat slogans. What have we come to?)

    Given what we knew, clinically, early on, the jabs were a good bet for those of us with risk augmentations. May have been a good bet, even given what we know now.

    Ya pays yer money, and ya takes yer chances.

      BierceAmbrose in reply to BierceAmbrose. | November 14, 2022 at 2:05 pm

      Going political, the rollout and drift of the messaging on treatments is bothersome.

      — We knew from early days there was massive skew in likelihood and severity of infection.

      — Clinical disease and transmissible infection didn’t track so well: completely ignored when it suggested letting people alone; trumpeted that everyone’s a carrier, when that suggested more, broader restrictions. It’s like the evidence was picked to support an outcome.

      — Damn sloppy about different delivery vehicles. Both the payload packaging: nanoparticles, vs. virus bodies. And injection, vs. pill, vs. nasal spray.

      — Completely focused on circulating antibodies via the adaptive immune system.

      — Clinical evidence of early treatments mitigating, severity, course, and transmission. But we can’t talk about that. Direction is still: stay home, don’t do anything particular, unless and until you have trouble breathing. Then it’s to the ER for you. *The worst* possible response for the population, hospital case load, the infected, etc.

      — They never talk “viral load.”

      Why can’t I get a novavax generally available in the US? How’s that play out as a booster? (It seems the infamous spike mutates like crazy. Other parts of the virus not so much.)

    Of course we wish you luck! And much love and many thoughts and prayers. <3

Time to get serious about this plague and outlaw orgies in nursing homes.

And when all is said and done, this is much ado about a politicized disease du jour that is nonfatal and has vanishingly few permanent effects on anybody. It’s like “long chickenpox.”
Herpes is worse than this.