Monkeypox virus genomics update


Trevor Bedford (@trvrb)
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center / Howard Hughes Medical Institute
21 Jun 2022
Viruses and Vaccines Seminar Series
Brotman Baty Institute
Slides at:

Monkeypox virus genome

Generally expect DNA viruses to have much slower evolutionary rate of roughly 1 mutation per year compared to RNA viruses like SARS-CoV-2 which mutate once every 2 weeks

Monkeypox viral diversity and typical epidemiology

Previously we observed stuttering transmission chains in humans after spillover from reservoir, similar to viruses like MERS-CoV and Nipa

Outbreak viruses are closely related as descendants of clade 3

Outbreak viruses differ by 47 SNPs compared to 2018

Observe ~1 mutation per month instead of the DNA virus expectation of 1 mutation per year

Unusual mutation spectrum consistent with APOBEC editing

Mutations consistent with APOBEC editing begin in 2018 and continue through current outbreak

Conclude human-to-human transmission has been occuring since late 2017


MPXV genomic epi: Data producers from all over the world and the Nextstrain team

Bedford Lab: John Huddleston, James Hadfield, Katie Kistler, Louise Moncla, Maya Lewinsohn, Thomas Sibley, Jover Lee, Cassia Wagner, Miguel Paredes, Nicola Müller, Marlin Figgins, Denisse Sequeira, Victor Lin, Jennifer Chang