London hospital launch mpox study
The Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is conducting a 12-month study on the effects of mpox – formerly known as monkeypox
The study aims to develop a better understanding of how the body reacts to the mpox virus, and will compare antibody levels after mpox infection, vaccination, or a combination of the two – with a focus on the kind of reaction produced, and how long the effects last for.
The study will also be supported by researchers from the government’s UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). Participants will be asked to answer a questionnaire and submit a series of antibody tests via post.
The virus, originally referred to as ‘monkeypox’, was renamed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as mpox in December 2022.
The disease, previously confined to sub-Saharan Africa, was behind a global public health emergency last year as large numbers of cases were detected further afield for the first time.
London was the centre of one of the initial outbreaks – leading to a vaccination programme which saw 43,600 Londoners inoculated against mpox. Consequently, the city is an ideal place to conduct such a study into the virus.
“The knowledge gained from this study will help us reach our ultimate goal of eliminating mpox transmission in the UK as well as strengthening our work to prevent or limit any future outbreaks,” said Dr Claire Gordon, Consultant in Infection at UKHSA, speaking to the Evening Standard newspaper.