Monkey pox: soon PCR tests to detect the virus?

the essential
This Wednesday, May 25, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche announced that it has developed PCR tests for detecting the monkeypox virus.

While the new Minister of Health, Brigitte Bourguignon, informed, this Thursday, May 26, that seven “proven” cases of monkeypox had been recorded in France, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche announced, the day before, to have developed virus detection PCR tests.

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In a press release, the director of Roche’s diagnostics division has, in fact, welcomed that “in response to the cases of infection with the simianpox virus (monkey pox) which have recently caused concerns, Roche very quickly developed a new series of tests for the detection of the monkeypox virus and monitoring its spread.”

Tests for scientific purposes

The tests developed by the Swiss firm 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 monkeypox viruses (monkey pox), a second specifically detects monkeypox viruses, while a third kit makes it possible to detect orthopoxviruses while specifying whether a monkeypox virus monkeypox is present or not.

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. They occur in countries where monkeypox, a disease characterized by skin lesions, is not endemic. 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.

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