US-based start-up Anitoa Systems has launched a portable polymerase chain reaction (PCR) molecular test that can detect the monkeypox virus.

The CE-marked test includes one of a family of small-foot-print, real-time PCR instruments known as the Maverick qPCR.

It uses an extraction-free multiplex reagent to test orthopoxvirus (OPXV) /monkeypox virus (MPXV) gene targets in skin lesion samples obtained from individuals suspected of monkeypox infection.

The test has been designed to be used on-site, in near-patient settings, without the need to transport samples to central laboratories for testing.

The company stated that it has already started deploying the Monkeypox test in selected African clinics.

When the need arises, Anitoa Systems plans to deliver the test solution across the world.

As of 15 June, more than 2,100 people in 42 countries have been diagnosed with the monkeypox virus, reported the World Health Organization (WHO).

The assay is said to be part of the company’s ongoing programme to develop tests for neglected tropical diseases in low-resource settings.

At present, the company has developed in vitro diagnostic regulation (IVDR) tests for yellow fever, dengue and malaria.

Anitoa Systems CEO Zhimin Ding said: “We are closely monitoring the situation of monkeypox infections around the world and tailoring our test solutions to the needs of the people affected.”

The company’s Maverick line of multiplex real-time PCR devices can operate on battery power and are portable, quick, calibration-free and lab-accurate.

They are developed using the company’s proprietary complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) biosensor technology.

The instruments are used for on-site testing of agriculture products, food and environment samples.