Monkeypox DNA levels correlate with virus infectivity in clinical samples, Israel, 2022

Euro Surveill. 2022 Sep;27(35):2200636. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2022.27.35.2200636.


The current monkeypox virus global spread and lack of data regarding clinical specimens' infectivity call for examining virus infectivity, and whether this correlates with results from PCR, the available diagnostic tool. We show strong correlation between viral DNA amount in clinical specimens and virus infectivity toward BSC-1 cell line. Moreover, we define a PCR threshold value (Cq ≥ 35, ≤ 4,300 DNA copies/mL), corresponding to negative viral cultures, which may assist risk-assessment and decision-making regarding protective-measures and guidelines for patients with monkeypox.

Keywords: Cq; Monkeypox; PCR; infectivity; pfu; threshold.

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Monkeypox virus / genetics
  • Mpox (monkeypox)* / diagnosis
  • Mpox (monkeypox)* / epidemiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods


  • DNA, Viral