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Mpox Detected With Sequencing Strategy Developed for Zika, SARS-CoV-2

In PLOS Biology, researchers from the Yale School of Public Health, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and elsewhere describe the application of a multiplexed amplicon-based sequencing method for detecting the monkeypox virus behind mpox infections. Starting with a PrimalSeq approach previously used to identify Zika virus and SARS-CoV-2, the team came up with a human monkeypox virus-centered primer set and PCR cycle threshold values for optimizing viral genome coverage in clinical samples. The authors note that the same strategy was used to detect the human monkeypox virus at 10 public health labs in the US, UK, Brazil, and Portugal that received the primer set. "[W]e show that amplicon-based sequencing can provide a rapidly deployable, cost-effective, and flexible approach to pathogen whole-genome sequencing in response to newly emerging pathogens," the authors reports, adding that "through the implementation of our primer scheme into existing SARS-CoV-2 workflows and across a range of sample types and sequencing platforms, we further demonstrate the potential of this approach for rapid outbreak response."

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.