NEW DELHI: A top scientist of the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology on Monday stated that the rising Monkeypox cases will not lead to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Dr Pragya Yadav, a senior scientist at ICMR-NIV, Pune said, "Spike in Monkeypox cases will not lead to HIV. These Monkeypox cases would have been tested for HIV during the detailed diagnosis to rule out other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)."
While discussing the potential for asymptomatic monkeypox patients and the importance of serological monitoring, Dr Yadav said, "The Monkeypox cases could be asymptomatic. In order to conduct such studies, an ELISA assay is currently being developed."
Asked about the effectiveness of the smallpox vaccine against Monkeypox, she stated that the smallpox vaccination is 86 per cent effective at preventing monkeypox.
Dr Yadav commented on the first occurrence of Monkeypox-related mortality in Kerala, saying, "The other aetiology for the encephalitis in the death case was not discovered and the patient was already confirmed to have the disease. Therefore, Monkeypox may have been the likely cause of death."
She further added that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is also expanding its network of laboratories.
"The ICMR is extending the laboratory network for enhancing the capacity. We are in process of developing serological assays and working towards vaccine as per the expression of interest released by ICMR," she said. According to a recent study in The Lancet, the monkeypox virus may spread from humans to dogs, Dr said.
"Men who use the same house and sleep close together with their dogs are thought to be the cause of the transmission," she added.