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Immune responses associated with mpox viral clearance in men with and without HIV in Spain: a multisite, observational, prospective cohort study.

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Background: Since the emergence of the global mpox outbreak in May, 2022, more than 90 000 cases have been diagnosed across 110 countries, disproportionately affecting people with HIV. The durability of mpox-specific immunity is unclear and reinfections have been reported. We aimed to compare mpox immune responses up to 6 months after diagnosis in participants with and without HIV and assess their effect on disease severity and viral clearance dynamics.

Methods: This study was embedded within a prospective, observational, multicentre cohort study of viral clearance dynamics among people with mpox in Spain (MoViE). We included women and men aged 18 years or older, who had signs of mpox, and reported having symptom onset within the previous 10 days at the moment of mpox diagnosis from three sex clinics of the Barcelona metropolitan area. Samples from skin ulcers were collected weekly to estimate the time to clear monkeypox virus (MPXV) from skin lesions. Blood samples were taken at diagnosis, 29, 91, and 182 days later for immune analysis. This included quantifying IgG and IgA against three mpox antigens by ELISA, evaluating in-vitro neutralisation, and characterising mpox-specific T-cell responses using interferon γ detecting enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assay and multiparametric flow cytometry.

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