Retrospective analysis of monkeypox infection

Melissa E. Dubois, Mark K. Slifka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Scopus citations


    Serologic cross-reactivity between orthopoxviruses is a substantial barrier to laboratory diagnosis of specific orthopoxvirus infections and epidemiologic characterization of disease outbreaks. Historically, time-consuming and labor-intensive strategies such as cross-adsorbed neutralization assays, immunofluorescence assays, and hemagglutination-inhibition assays have been used to identify orthopoxvirus infections. We used cross-adsorption to develop a simple and quantitative postadsorption ELISA for distinguishing between monkeypox and vaccinia infections. Despite the difficulty of diagnosing clinically inapparent monkeypox in previously vaccinated persons, this technique exhibited 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity for identifying clinically overt monkeypox infection irrespective of vaccination history. We also describe a Western blot technique in which up to 3 diagnostic bands may be used to distinguish between vaccinia and monkeypox infection. The techniques described provide independent diagnostic tests suitable for retrospective analysis of monkeypox outbreaks.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)592-599
    Number of pages8
    JournalEmerging infectious diseases
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Apr 2008

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Epidemiology
    • Microbiology (medical)
    • Infectious Diseases


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