Urgent need for a non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing nomenclature for monkeypox virus

PLoS Biol. 2022 Aug 23;20(8):e3001769. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3001769. eCollection 2022 Aug.


We propose a novel, non-discriminatory classification of monkeypox virus diversity. Together with the World Health Organization, we named three clades (I, IIa and IIb) in order of detection. Within IIb, the cause of the current global outbreak, we identified multiple lineages (A.1, A.2, A.1.1 and B.1) to support real-time genomic surveillance.

MeSH terms

  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Monkeypox virus* / genetics
  • Monkeypox* / diagnosis
  • Monkeypox* / epidemiology

Grant support

The authors received no specific funding for this work.