December 6, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

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Marc van Ranst's lab discovers 'a handful of mutations' in monkeypox virus

Marc van Ranst’s lab discovers ‘a handful of mutations’ in monkeypox virus

Over the past few days, a “handful of mutations” of the monkeypox virus have been discovered in the lab of virologist Marc van Ranst at KU Leuven. This is what Van Ranst says in an article he wrote Financial TimesBut he told our editors there was no cause for major concern at this time. “Viruses simply mutate.”

The positive samples of the monkeypox virus detected in our country were further examined at the Riga Institute in KU Leuven. This revealed a “handful of mutations” in the virus. “When you compare the genomes of a virus, you always find some mutations,” van Ranst tells our editors.

Mutations were detected in positive samples in our country. There are labs in other countries that do similar research, and when all these results are put together, a lot will be known about the virus. “Where the origin lies, for example. It could also show that it has been infecting people for a longer time without us knowing,” says Van Ranst.

Don’t call it annoying. “RNA viruses mutate every day,” said the virologist. “With DNA viruses, like monkeypox virus, things are a little slower because there isn’t much there.” These mutations can cause viruses, as we have seen with Covid-19, to become increasingly infectious and pathogenic. But we have no evidence to suggest that this is the case here. This would require a significant amount of additional research, and we would have to research privately over a longer period of time. If you look at the evolution of this virus, it’s clear that it has become more contagious over the decades. But we will learn more about it in the coming months and years.”

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