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Monkeypox: what do dental professionals need to know?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Edgar Beltran Zuniga, Dr Richard HollidayORCiD, Professor Nicholas JakubovicsORCiD, James AllisonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Infection control is critical for the safe delivery of dental care. Infection control practices must be responsive to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and outbreaks, as was clearly seen during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. An emerging global outbreak of the Monkeypox virus has again raised potential challenges for infection control in dentistry. Monkeypox is an infectious disease characterised by a rash affecting skin and soft tissues including the oral cavity. Previously, cases were mostly seen following contact with infected animals in Central and West Africa, with limited human-to-human transmission within and outside of these areas. However, since May 2022, sustained human-to-human transmission has occurred globally. Monkeypox can be transmitted via close contact with an infected person, contaminated objects and surfaces, or by droplets and possibly aerosols, and is therefore of potential importance to dental settings. This article discusses the relevance of monkeypox to dental professionals, the typical presentation of the disease, its potential impact on infection prevention and control practices, and the delivery of dental services. The current monkeypox outbreak highlights the need for a more sustained program of research into dental infection control that can provide a solid evidence base to underpin preparedness planning for future outbreaks and pandemics.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Zemouri C, Beltrán EO, Holliday R, Jakubovics NS, Allison JR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Dental Journal

Year: 2022

Volume: 233

Pages: 569-574

Print publication date: 14/10/2022

Online publication date: 14/10/2022

Acceptance date: 31/08/2022

Date deposited: 17/10/2022

ISSN (print): 0007-0610

ISSN (electronic): 1476-5373

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/s41415-022-5079-8


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Funder referenceFunder name
Wellcome Trust