The Swiss laboratory Roche is developing polymerase chain reaction tests to detect the virus

“Roche very quickly developed a new series of tests to detect and monitor the spread of monkeypox virus,” Roche’s director of diagnostics said, in a press release issued by the group.

The recent outbreaks, with more than 250 cases already reported in 16 countries as of May 22 according to the World Health Organization, are atypical, and also occur in countries where monkeypox, a disease characterized by skin lesions, is not endemic. The tests developed by Roche are not intended for the general public but are available for research purposes in most countries of the world.

Detection kits

Un premier kit détecte les orthopoxvirus, dont les virus de la variole simienne, un second détecte spécifiquement les virus de la variole simienne, tandis qu’un troisième kit permet de détecter les orthopoxvirus tout en précisant la variole séré un no.

According to the World Health Organization, the disease must be detected through a PCR test because antigen tests cannot determine whether it is monkeypox or other related viruses. The best specimens for diagnosis come from lesions, swabs of exudate (fluid produced by a wound) or crusts from lesions.

In 2003, cases were confirmed in the United States, marking the first appearance of this disease outside of Africa. Most of them had contact with domestic prairie dogs, infected with imported African rodents.

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