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Mpox prevalence among samples sent for HSV and syphilis testing in the West of Scotland
  1. Neil McInnes,
  2. Alasdair MacLean,
  3. Rory N Gunson
  1. West of Scotland Specialist Virology Center, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Neil McInnes, West of Scotland Specialist Virology Centre, Glasgow, UK; neil.mcinnes4{at}

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The emergence of mpox in May 2022 outside of regions and populations who were previously thought to be at risk has widened the differential for those seeking healthcare for a rash or lesion. In the UK, there were 3732 cases of mpox diagnosed in 2022, and 143 in 2023. It was spread primarily through close or sexual contact, and 99% of cases were in men with the majority of transmission restricted to the gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men community.1

In response to the spread of mpox, a reverse transcription-PCR test was rapidly developed and rolled out across laboratories in the UK. In Scotland, this was done in virology laboratories in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Mpox was tested on request, based on clinical findings and epidemiological risk factors. This test was run alongside the routine test for genital ulcers, which detects herpes simplex virus (HSV) 1/2 and syphilis.

Between May 2022 …

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  • Handling editor Anna Maria Geretti

  • Contributors Work carried out by NM and AM; text written by NM and supervision done by RNG.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.