Unlike natural VARV infections, which were declared eradicated in 1979, MPXV infections occur naturally in MPXV-endemic regions of Africa, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Republic of the Congo.
Unlike VARV, which lacks ORFs in the ITR region, MPXV contains at least 4 ORFs in the ITR region (7,26).
We conducted the phylogenetic analysis by using methods identical to those reported for VARV diversity (4).
The function of the protein expressed from MPV-Z-N2R is unknown, and no homologous gene is in the VARV or West African MPXV genomes.
No homologous gene is present in the VARV genome (26) (www.
STR variations have been described for VARV isolates obtained during 1944-1974 (34); however, no studies have addressed the possibility of STR variations in VARV isolates belonging to the same geographic cluster.