OUTBREAK: Mpox

Mpox outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo – 2023 – 2024

Background on Mpox

Mpox is a zoonotic infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus (MPXV), an Orthopoxvirus belonging to the same genus as smallpox. MPXV was discovered in 1958, with the first human infection identified in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). There are two known clades of MPXV: clade I and clade II (subdivided into clade IIa and clade IIb); with clade I generally considered more virulent than clade II. 

MPXV can be transmitted human-to-human by close contact and via animal-to-human transmission occurring through direct contact with infected animals or consumption of infected, undercooked bushmeat. The natural reservoir is currently not known. Although a mild disease in most, children, pregnant women, and people with a weakened immune system are at higher risk of complications and death.

Current Outbreak 

Since January 2023, the DRC has seen its largest mpox outbreak in history. The outbreak has spread across most regions of the country and there are signs of increased human-to-human transmission. The past few years have seen marked increases in mpox cases in DRC. However, the ongoing outbreak differs in pattern and scale from those previously observed and is compounded by multiple emergencies in the region, hindering an optimal response. The exact epidemiology is poorly understood, and there is not yet clarity on whether we are witnessing a single outbreak or multiple outbreaks, highlighting an urgent need for improved access to diagnostics and research. Furthermore, lack of access to vaccines and treatments heightens the concern and need to address these gaps and to identify suitable interventions. 

Outbreak Specific Research Priorities 

Following a high-level emergency regional meeting on mpox, African Ministers of Health issued a communique on 13 April 2024 outlining key actions for the response to the ongoing mpox outbreak. The communique includes areas for prioritisation for R&D for an effective response. The WHO also published the 'Strategic framework for enhancing prevention and control of mpox-2024-2027' report on 24 May 2024 which includes proposed priority areas for research. 

We present analyses of mpox research activities mapped to the identified research priorities in these two documents, and we also map activities to our broader Pandemic PACT research categories. 

Relevant Links

Global annual funding for research on diseases with a pandemic potential

Total number of grants and US dollars committed for each disease

Please note: Grants may fall under more than one disease. Funding amounts are included only when they have been published by the funder and are included within the year of the grant award start date.

Global Distribution of Grants by Research Area

The chart shows the total amount of funding allocated for different research areas for all diseases. Use filters on the left for advanced filtering depending on your interests. Use the 'View sub-categories' buttons to explore the sub-categories.

Pathogen: natural history, transmission and diagnostics

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$0.00

Animal and environmental research and research on diseases vectors

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$0.00

Epidemiological studies

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Clinical characterisation and management

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$0.00

Infection prevention and control

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$0.00

Therapeutics research, development and implementation

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$0.00

Vaccines research, development and implementation

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$0.00

Research to inform ethical issues

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$0.00

Policies for public health, disease control & community resilience

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$0.00

Secondary impacts of disease, response & control measures

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$0.00

Health Systems Research

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$0.00

Research on Capacity Strengthening

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$0.00

Please note: Grants may fall under more than one research category, and funding amounts are included only when they have been published by the funder.

Global Map of Geographical Distribution of Funding Organisations OR Research Locations

The information on the research location was collected where available from the grant application, and can be different to the location of research institution.

Countries

WHO Regions

Please note: Funding amounts are included only when they have been published by the funder. Some research projects are undertaken in multiple locations (countries) and some are funded by multiple funders. Where research location is not explicitly specified the default used is the location of the research institution receiving the funds.

Regional Distribution of Funding by Research Areas

Each research category is shown in a different colour

All Research Categories

Please note: Grants may fall under more than one research category, and funding amounts are included only when they have been published by the funder.

Regional Flow of Research Grants

The chart illustrates the flow of research grants by region, tracing it from funder to research institution and ultimately to the location where the research is conducted.

If the full chart is not visible, please scroll horizontally to view.

No Data.

Please note: Funding amounts are included only when they have been published by the funder. Some research projects are undertaken in multiple locations (countries). Where research location is not explicitly specified the default used is the location of the research institution receiving the funds.