Monkeypox test imag

Government launches new monkeypox study in bid to inform future public health responses

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is looking to level up its public health response to monkeypox (mpox) as it launches a new study aimed at increasing understanding of how the disease can be transmitted asymptomatically.

Previous research has shown people can be infected with mpox despite not displaying any symptoms – the PRIME study will build on this research and clarify the extent to which this happens.

The government is urging anyone over the age of 18, who has been in close sexual contact with somebody with mpox, to participate in the study; researchers hope to recruit up to 2,000 people.

As well as completing a short questionnaire, those who take part will be asked do a blood test to assess if they have developed antibodies.

                                                                      Video credit: Canva

Industry comment

UKHSA’s deputy director, Dr Colin Brown, said: “This is an exciting area of research that should provide us with valuable insights into the spread of mpox. It will give us a better understanding of who has developed antibodies from vaccination, exposure to the virus, or both.”

He continued: “This will inform vaccination and sexual health testing strategies and improve our understanding of how we can prevent or manage future outbreaks and better support those affected.”

The £1m study is funded by the Medical Research Council and will be conducted in collaboration with The Love Tank.

Image credit: iStock

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NHE May/June 2024

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