A Tale of Two Viruses: Coinfections of Monkeypox and Varicella Zoster Virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo Journal Article uri icon



  • ABSTRACTRecent enhanced monkeypox (MPX) surveillance in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where MPX is endemic, has uncovered multiple cases of MPX and varicella zoster virus (VZV) coinfections. The purpose of this study was to verify if coinfections occur and to characterize the clinical nature of these cases. Clinical, epidemiological, and laboratory results were used to investigate MPX/VZV coinfections. A coinfection was defined as a patient with at least one Orthopoxvirus/MPX-positive sample and at least one VZV-positive sample within the same disease event. Between September 2009 and April 2014, 134 of the 1,107 (12.1%) suspected MPX cases were confirmed as MPX/VZV coinfections. Coinfections were more likely to report symptoms than VZV-alone cases and less likely than MPX-alone cases. Significantly higher lesion counts were observed for coinfection cases than for VZV-alone but less than MPX-alone cases. Discernible differences in symptom and rash severity were detected for coinfection cases compared with those with MPX or VZV alone. Findings indicate infection with both MPX and VZV could modulate infection severity. Collection of multiple lesion samples allows for the opportunity to detect coinfections. As this program continues, it will be important to continue these procedures to assess variations in the proportion of coinfected cases over time.

publication date

  • February 3, 2021

has restriction

  • hybrid

Date in CU Experts

  • January 11, 2023 1:59 AM

Full Author List

  • Hughes CM; Liu L; Davidson WB; Radford KW; Wilkins K; Monroe B; Metcalfe MG; Likafi T; Lushima RS; Kabamba J

author count

  • 19

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9637

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1476-1645

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 604

end page

  • 611


  • 104


  • 2