Monkeypox (mpox) in immunosuppressed patients

F1000Res. 2023 Feb 2:12:127. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.130272.2. eCollection 2023.


The World Health Organization (WHO) proclaimed a public health emergency in July 2022 due to the emergence of Mpox (formerly monkeypox) while the globe was still dealing with the COVID-19 epidemic. The characteristics of mpox in immunocompetent individuals are well-characterized, despite difficulties in diagnostics, immunization, and access to treatment that persist in low-income countries. Patients with weakened immune systems are more likely to spread an illness and die from it than healthy people because they cannot mount a protective immune response against it, such as a neutralizing IgG and poxvirus-specific Th1 response. A health warning on severe mpox in people who are immunocompromised due to Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other illnesses was released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on September 29, 2022. The advice does not specifically include primary immunodeficiency, but it does define other immunocompromising disorders as "having autoimmune disease with immunodeficiency as a clinical component". Both those with healthy immune systems and those with weakened immune systems, such as those who are immunosuppressed, older people, children, etc., have encountered serious health issues, but the latter group is more likely to do so. According to the advisory, "of the people with severe mpox manifestations for whom CDC has been consulted, the majority have had HIV with CD4 counts 200 cells/ml, indicating substantial immunosuppression". However, new cases are still expected to be discovered, especially in low-income countries with limited access to diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, and where a large percentage of the mpox-infected population also has advanced HIV infection. Thus, further research is always needed to determine the best way to treat mpox in immunocompromised people. In this context, we discussed /reviewed the mpox clinical presentation, available treatment options and current preventive guidelines in immunocompromised patients.

Keywords: autoimmune disease; control; human immunodeficiency virus; immunocompromised patients; management; monkeypox; prevention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19*
  • Child
  • HIV Infections*
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Monkeypox*
  • United States

Grants and funding

The author(s) declared that no grants were involved in supporting this work.