The Institut Pasteur in Bangui confirms cases of monkeypox virus infection

In Central African Republic


The Institut Pasteur in Bangui confirmed cases of monkeypox virus infection in Bangassou about 800 km from Bangui capital city of the Central African Republic.

A team from Doctors without Borders Belgium located in this area at the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has collected samples from two children of the same family who presented with rashes (maculopapular) after consuming thryonomys meat, a rodent locally known as sibissi. One of the children, aged 9 years died. As the clinical picture was not in favor of a measles infection, highly endemic in Central African Republic, the samples were sent to the Institut Pasteur in Bangui for analysis.



The Laboratory of Arboviruses, Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers and of Emerging Zoonotic viruses led by Dr. Emmanuel Nakouné received the samples on December 25th and immediately conducted molecular analyzes that proved positive for monkeypox virus. A team from the Ministry of Health helped by the Institut Pasteur in Bangui went Tuesday, December 29th in the area for an epidemiological investigation around the case. For several years the Institut Pasteur in Bangui has regularly detected monkeyspox micro-outbreaks (1) as part of a surveillance program supported by the Institut Pasteur. Transmitted by wild animals (rodents and primates), the monkeypox virus can cause in human a disease whose symptoms are similar to those of smallpox. This disease can be fatal particularly among children.


The Central African Republic is living since 2013 an armed conflict fostering the emergence of infectious diseases. For more than 50 years, the Institut Pasteur in Bangui brings an essential support for surveillance of microbiological and emerging diseases in this region of Central Africa. (1) Berthet N, Nakouné E et al. ; Maculopapular lesions in the Central African Republic. Lancet. 2011 Oct 8;378(9799):1354. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61142-2.