What is the monkeypox virus?

Monkeypox virus





Dear Editor,

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, another new virus threatens humanity in 2022 year. This virus is called as monkeypox virus or Mpox. Monkeypox, a rare zoonotic disease, is caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the Poxviridae family, the Chordopoxvirinae subfamily and the Orthopoxvirus genus (1). Monkeypox is an enveloped, double-stranded DNA virus. The genus Orthopoxvirus also includes the Variola virus (the causative agent of smallpox), the Vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine) and the Cowpox virus. The monkeypox virus has two different genetic groups, namely Central African (Congo Basin) and West African. The Central African monkeypox virus, the form of the virus that occurs in humans, has a more severe clinical condition and a higher mortality rate than the West African virus. The name monkeypox originates from the first discovery of the virus in monkeys in a laboratory in Denmark in 1958 (2). The first human case was diagnosed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, in a 9-month-old baby boy (3). Since then, monkeypox has become endemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it has spread to other African countries, mainly in Central and West Africa. Monkeypox is a disease of global public health importance, as it affects not only countries in West and Central Africa, but also the rest of the world. In 2003, the first outbreak of monkeypox outside of Africa was observed in the United States, and it was found that the virus was linked to contact with infected domestic prairie dogs. These pets were housed in the same dormitory as Gambian marsupial rats imported to the United States from Ghana. This outbreak has led to over 70 cases of monkeypox in the United States. Monkeypox has also been reported in travelers from Nigeria to Israel in September 2018, to the United Kingdom in September 2018, December 2019, May 2021 and May 2022, to Singapore in May 2019, and to the United States of America in July and November 2021. In May 2022, multiple cases of monkeypox were identified in several non-endemic countries (4).


IcoToV (ICTV). Virus Taxonomy: 2020 Release. Available from: https://talk.ictvonline.org/taxonomy

Von Magnus P, Andersen EA, Petersen KB, Birch-Andersen A. A pox-like disease in cynomolgus monkeys. Acta Path Microbiol Scand. 1959;46(2):156-176.

Breman JG, Kalisa-Ruti, Steniowski MV, Zanotto E, Gromyko AI, Arita I. Human monkeypox, 1970-79. Bull World Health Organ. 1980;58(2):165-82.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology (DHCPP) Page last reviewed:2022




How to Cite

Arabacı, Çiğdem. (2022). What is the monkeypox virus? Monkeypox virus. The Injector, 1(3), 144–146. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7496776