A brief research report documents positive monkeypox virus PCR results found in anal samples taken from asymptomatic MSM (men who have sex with men). These findings suggest that vaccination limited to those with known exposure to the monkeypox virus may not be an effective strategy for preventing infection. The report is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Researchers from Bichat–Claude Bernard Hospital, Paris, France, retrospectively performed testing for monkeypox virus on all anorectal swabs that were collected as part of a sexually transmitted infection screening program. Per French guidelines, this type of screening is performed every 3 months among MSM with multiple sexual partners who are either taking HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) or living with HIV and receiving antiretroviral treatment. Of the 200 asymptomatic persons screened that were negative for N. gonorrhoeae and C. trachomatis, 13 (6.5%) samples were PCR positive for monkeypox virus. Two of the 13 later developed symptoms of monkeypox.
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