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Epidemiological Surveillance for Human Monkeypox


Laboratory Epidemiological Surveillance for Human Monkeypox on the Base of Classical and Developmental Methods of Diagnostics

Tech Area / Field

  • MED-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Medicine
  • BIO-SFS/Biosafety and BioSecurity/Biotechnology

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR, Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Koltsovo


  • Institute of Microbiology of the German Army, Germany, Munich

Project summary

The main goal of the proposed Project is to provide scientific and laboratory support for human monkeypox epidemiological surveillance, organized by WHO in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, former Zaire) and surrounding areas. The epidemiologic and laboratory evidence presented by CDC suggests that this monkeypox outbreak is the largest reported, resulting in renewed international, and WHO sanctioned, investigation of the disease. After smallpox eradication, surveillance for human mokeypox from 1981 to 1986 in the DRC indicated that person-to-person transmission would not sustain monkeypox in humans without repeated reintroduction of virus from wild. Transmission chains beyond secondary were rare. Since 1996 the situation seemed to have changed. The collected data suggested predominant person-to-person transmission and prolonged chains of transmission (as many as eight consecutive cases in one instance). The reason may be caused by the increased proportion of susceptible (unvaccinated, reduced herd immunity) persons as well as another factors (increased virus transmission potential and virus variability, ecological factors, social factors).

The Project is designed in accordance to recommendation of the informal Consultation on Human Monkeypox (WHO Geneva, February 15-16, 2001). The Project provides the integrated study of materials from the infected people – blood, lesion materials, vesicular fluids. For this purpose the new up-to-date methods for detecting specific antibodies, antigens, and nucleic acids of monkeypox virus will be used. The study will be undertaken both on the base of classical biological methods – morphological analysis of pocks on chorion-allantoc membranes of the chick embryos (CAM), electron microscope analysis of pocks and infected cell cultures, serological tests (Neutralisation, ELISA, WB, IgG and IgM detection) and up-to-date molecular biological methods – PCR, DNA restriction endonuclease patterns (RFLP), sequencing of species-specific regions of virus DNA. We are planning to carry out a species-specific immuno-analysis using monoclonal antibodies from SRC VB “Vector” collection and phage recombinant antibodies library.

We are expecting the Project execution will allow us:

– to make an objective appraisal of Prevalence of human monkeypox;

– to compare the received isolates with early selected monkeypox viruses;
– to estimate the sensitivity and the specificity of various methods of human monkeypox detection and to give practical recommendations for them using in “field conditions”.


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