A multidisciplinary consortium of African and European researchers responded to the urgent call from the European Union by developing a research project on the current Monkeypox outbreak in central Africa.

The spread of Mpox virus (MPXV) in Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Republic of Congo (RoC) presents an urgent public health concern with global implications. MPXV cases have been reported across 114 countries with 89,752 confirmed reports and >150 deaths. It has the highest prevalence in DRC and has resulted in twice the number of deaths in the African region compared to Europe. RoC, a DRC bordering country, is also experiencing a surge in positive cases, highlighting an urgent need for data-driven efforts to identify transmission routes and implement public health initiatives. MPOX-PROBE is responding to this call for action with an international consortium and activities in three main pillars:

(1) improving epidemiological surveillance of Mpox with new diagnostics and sampling efforts including high-risk areas and vulnerable populations;

2) capacity building to improve diagnostic and research capacities of researchers and public health workers in DRC and RoC;

3) strengthening public health response by sharing surveillance data and newly developed spatiotemporal risk and transmission models for Mpox.
Through MPOX-PROBE, this consortium will create actionable data to uncover MPXV transmission routes and natural reservoirs facilitating development of effective interventional packages. The transmission and risks models will allow prediction of future or emerging outbreaks and develop initiatives to prevent further spread. Together, these efforts will benefit vulnerable populations and
general public in sub-Saharan Africa alike while also performing ground-breaking research to understand transmission mechanisms.

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