Epidemiological and Clinical Characteristics of Mpox in Cisgender and Transgender Women and Non-Binary Individuals Assigned to the Female Sex at Birth: A Comprehensive, Critical Global Perspective

Nicola Luigi Bragazzi, Woldegebriel Assefa Woldegerima, Jianhong Wu, Manlio Converti, Lukasz Szarpak, Andrea Crapanzano, Marwan Odeh, Raymond Farah, Rola Khamisy-Farah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The 2022–2023 Mpox multi-country outbreak, identified in over 110 WHO Member States, revealed a predominant impact on cisgender men, particularly those engaging in sex with men, while less frequently affecting women. This disparity prompted a focused investigation into the gender-specific characteristics of Mpox infections, particularly among women, to address a notable knowledge gap. This review systematically gathers and analyzes the scientific literature and case reports concerning Mpox infections in women, covering a broad geographical spectrum including regions such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Nigeria, Europe, Vietnam, and the United States. The analysis delves into various aspects of Mpox in women, including clinical features, epidemiology, psychological impacts, preparedness strategies, and case studies, with particular attention to pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions. Empirical data from multiple studies underscore the unique epidemiological and clinical patterns of Mpox in women. In the United States, a small percentage of Mpox cases were reported among cisgender women, with a notable portion involving non-Hispanic Black or African American, non-Hispanic White, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicities. The primary transmission route was identified as sexual or close intimate contact, with the virus predominantly manifesting on the legs, arms, and genital areas. Further, a study in Spain highlighted significant disparities in diagnosis delays, transmission modes, and clinical manifestations between genders, indicating a different risk profile and disease progression in women. Additionally, a case from Vietnam, linked to a new Mpox sub-lineage in women, emphasized the role of women in the transmission dynamics and the importance of genomic monitoring. This review emphasizes the necessity for inclusive surveillance and research to fully understand Mpox dynamics across diverse population groups, including women. Highlighting gender and sexual orientation in public health responses is crucial for an effective approach to managing the spread and impact of this disease. The findings advocate for a gender-diverse assessment in health services and further research to explore the nuances of Mpox transmission, behavior, and progression among different groups, thereby enhancing the global response to Mpox and similar public health challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number325
JournalViruses
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by the authors.

Keywords

  • Mpox
  • cisgender
  • gender medicine
  • gender-specific differences
  • non-binary individuals assigned to female sex at birth
  • transgender women

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