Chinese researchers reveal monkeypox’s immune escape mechanism, provides new insights for virus defense strategy
Published: Aug 29, 2023 05:38 PM


Chinese researchers have revealed a new mechanism of immune escape by monkeypox virus, which will provide new insights for defense strategies to slow it spread.

The team of Zhao Haiyan from the State Key Laboratory of Virology at Wuhan University and the team of Deng Zengqin from Wuhan Institute of Virology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, have recently jointly published a research paper in Nature Communications, an open access journal that publishes high-quality research from all areas of the natural sciences, according to the official WeChat account of State Key Laboratory of Virology on Tuesday.

According to the research paper titled "Structural and functional insights into the modulation of T cell costimulation by monkeypox virus protein M2," the monkeypox virus M2 can bind hB7.1/2 and suppress T cell activation mediated by hB7.1/2 costimulation via the blockade of CD28 binding to hB7.1/2. T, forming the mechanism of immune escape.

The Chinese mainland has reported 491 new monkeypox cases across 23 provincial-level regions, the country's Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Chinese CDC) confirmed earlier in August.

Authorities warn that there is still a continuous risk of imported cases from overseas. According to monitoring data, the detected monkeypox virus genotypes in the Chinese mainland all belong to the IIb branch (West African branch), which is mainly prevalent in countries in Europe, North America, and Asia.

Monkeypox is an infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It can cause a painful rash, enlarged lymph nodes and fever. While most fully recover, the severity of symptoms varies, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

In May 2022, an outbreak of monkeypox appeared suddenly and rapidly spread across Europe, the Americas and then all six WHO regions, with 110 countries and regions reporting about 87, 000 cases and 112 deaths. WHO declared monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in July 2022 and announced end of the situation in May 2023.