Epidemiological, clinical and virological characteristics of four cases of monkeypox support transmission through sexual contact, Italy, May 2022

Euro Surveill. 2022 Jun;27(22):2200421. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2022.27.22.2200421.


Since May 2022, an outbreak of monkeypox has been ongoing in non-endemic countries. We report four cases in Italy in young adult men reporting condomless sexual intercourse. The patients are in good clinical condition with no need for specific antiviral drugs. Biological samples from seminal fluid were positive for monkeypox viral DNA. For many other viruses found in semen there is no evidence of sexual transmission. The possibility of sexual transmission of monkeypox virus needs to be investigated.

Keywords: MSM; emerging infectious diseases; monkeypox; seminal fluid; west African clade.

MeSH terms

  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monkeypox virus
  • Monkeypox* / epidemiology
  • Monkeypox* / transmission
  • Semen
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Young Adult