PostedMay 25, 2022, 7:34 p.m.
These tests were developed by the Swiss company “in response to cases of infection with the monkeypox virus which have recently raised concerns”.
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche announced on Wednesday that it has developed PCR tests for the detection of monkeypox virus, after the appearance of several cases in areas of the world where the disease is not common.
Not intended for the general public
These tests were developed by Roche and its subsidiary TIB Molbiol, “in response to cases of infection with the monkeypox virus which have recently raised concerns,” he said in a press release. “Roche has very quickly developed a new series of tests for the detection of the simian pox virus and the follow-up of its propagation”, observed the director of the Diagnostics division of Roche, quoted in the press release.
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, as they occur in countries where the 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.
A first kit detects orthopoxviruses, including viruses of the simian poxa second one specifically detects monkeypox viruses, while a third kit can detect orthopoxviruses while specifying whether a monkeypox virus is present or not.
Rare viral zoonoses
According to the WHO, the disease should be detected with a PCR test because antigenic tests cannot determine whether it is monkeypox virus or other related viruses. The best samples for diagnosis come from lesions, swabs of exudates (fluid produced by the wound) or crusts from lesions. Monkeypox or monkeypox is – according to the WHO – a rare viral zoonosis (virus transmitted to humans by animals) whose symptoms are less severe than those observed in the past in subjects with smallpox.
With its eradication in 1980 and the cessation of smallpox vaccination that followed, this orthopoxvirus emerged as the most important virus of its kind. It occurs sporadically in parts of the tropical forests of Central and West Africa. The disease was first detected in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire).
In 2003, cases were confirmed in the United States, marking the first occurrence of this disease outside of Africa. Most had been in contact with domestic prairie dogs, infected with imported African rodents.