Genomic and epidemiological perspectives on the first local sporadic cases of Mpox in China

Emerg Microbes Infect. 2023 Dec;12(2):2245932. doi: 10.1080/22221751.2023.2245932.


From June 7th to 11th, 2023, eight cases of Mpox were identified in Guangzhou, China. This is the first report of multiple local sporadic cases after the imported case in Chongqing, China. Epidemiological investigation revealed that these cases had no history of international travel and no connections with each other. Haplotype network and phylogenetic analyses indicated that the possible origin is likely from Japan, although the direct origin may remain uncertain due to limited genomic sequences and sampling bias in GISAID. The three Guangzhou sequences have accumulated several novel mutations, suggesting the local transmission of Mpox may have been ongoing for some time. Based on the daily cases during the early stage of Mpox outbreak in four other countries, the number of possible infected cases in Guangzhou is inferred to be more than 300, suggesting that swift and efficient control measures must be implemented to mitigate the risk of a potential epidemic.

Keywords: MPXV; covert transmission; genomic epidemiology; haplotype network; phylogenetic analysis.

MeSH terms

  • China / epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Mpox (monkeypox)*
  • Phylogeny

Grants and funding

The work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2021YFC2301305, and Grant No. 2021YFC0863400), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant No. 2022M723074), the Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangzhou (Grant No. 2023A03J0929), the Science and Technology Program of Guangzhou (Grant No. 202206080003), and the Key Project of Medicine Discipline of Guangzhou (Grant No. 2021-2023-11).