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Self-sampling for asymptomatic mpox

A pilot study carried out in Catalonia to evaluate the self-collection of biological samples reveals the high acceptability of the proposal and the key role of diagnosis in people without symptoms of mpox.

The project – “Stop MPox” – was led by Dr Cristina Agustí and Dr Jordi Casabona from the Centre for Epidemiological Studies on Sexually Transmitted Infections and AIDS of Catalonia.

They evaluated a screening strategy for the virus causing mpox through self-collected samples among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, as well as transgender women who could be potentially exposed to the virus.

A total of 113 volunteers participated in the study, all of whom were recruited through the NGO Stop and took both anal and pharyngeal samples.

Following laboratory analysis, all the participants were informed of their diagnosis. Those who tested positive were asked about the appearance of symptoms in the three weeks following their positive mpox result.

Estimated prevalence of the infection from the study was 6.19%, and specifically, 7.87% among cisgender gay men.

Participants were surveyed about their satisfaction with self-sampling, confirming a high degree of acceptance due to its ease and effectiveness.

Image credit | SCLibrary

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