Monkeypox: Glasgow University experts are to lead £2 million research project

Virologists at the University of Glasgow will lead a £2 million research project on monkeypox.

The university's Centre for Virus Research will spearhead a consortium in collaboration with the Surrey-based Pirbright Institute.

The project will bring together 25 leading researchers from 12 institutions, including Edinburgh University, to develop better diagnostic tests, identify potential therapies and study vaccine effectiveness and the virus' spread.

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Around 3,500 cases of monkeypox have been identified in the UK this year, including a total of 94 in Scotland since May.

The spread of the disease has been slowing since June, however, amid a push to vaccinate groups at highest risk of exposure.

Thousands of cases have now been confirmed worldwide, with 25 deaths but no explanation for the outbreak

The consortium will study the effectiveness of the smallpox vaccine against monkeypox by tracking the immune responses of up to 200 people.

It will also use genomic surveillance to monitor changes in the virus, its transmission and pathology.

Monkeypox fatalities have been lower than fearedMonkeypox fatalities have been lower than feared
Monkeypox fatalities have been lower than feared

Professor Bryan Charleston, co-lead from The Pirbright Institute, said: "These could really aid clinicians in determining whether a lesion is actually caused by monkeypox or potentially caused by other things that cause rashes.

"That process could really speed up diagnosis and controls such as isolation where needed for those patients."

Potential drugs to treat monkeypox will also be screened against human cells in the lab to determine which ones should be fast-tracked for further testing.

Most monkeypox cases in the UK were mild but some patients in Spain fell severely ill, leaving scientists to discover why.



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