No Varicella Zoster virus infection among mpox cases in Antwerp, Belgium

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Several studies in tropical settings have reported that ∼20% of patients infected with Monkeypox virus (MPXV) also tested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive for Varicella zoster virus (VZV). Researchers have hypothesized that VZV infection predisposes to monkeypox (mpox), or vice versa, or that MPXV triggers the reactivation of VZV. We tested samples for VZV from a cohort of patients infected with clade IIb MPXV diagnosed between May 23 and October 14, 2022 in Antwerp, Belgium. Leftover DNA extracts of skin lesion samples from 108 mpox patients were tested with in-house PCR for VZV. No VZV infections were found. The absence of concurrent VZV-MPXV infections in our cohort indicates that VZV did not cocirculate in the population at risk for MPXV during the Belgian 2022 outbreak, but also that MPXV does not commonly trigger reactivation of latent VZV in adult men.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1282-1283
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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