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May 26, 2022

Roche and TIB Molbiol develop three monkeypox virus detection tests

The test kits use quantitative polymerase chain reaction technology to detect Orthopoxviruses, including the monkeypox virus.

Roche and its subsidiary, TIB Molbiol, have developed three LightMix Modular Virus kits to detect the monkeypox virus. 

Several monkeypox virus clusters were reported in various European countries, as well as North America, in the last two weeks, where the virus is not generally prevalent.

The test kits are assays that can identify Orthopoxviruses, including the monkeypox virus, using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology.

To carry out the test, the first sample is processed using a proven nucleic acid (NA) extraction method.

Subsequently, the assay is run on either a LightCycler 480 II Instrument or cobas z 480 Analyzer.

The first LightMix Modular Virus kit identifies orthopoxviruses, including all monkeypox viruses from the West African and Central African viral forms, called clades.

The second kit is a test intended to identify monkeypox viruses only, specifically the West African and Central African clades.

A third kit is offered for researchers who are interested in achieving both these results. It identifies orthopoxviruses and offers data on whether a monkeypox virus is present or not (West African and Central African clade) at the same time.

The World Health Organization (WHO) anticipates more monkeypox cases to be identified as surveillance grows.

Use of these kits can assess the viral spread and aid in monitoring the potential impact of therapies, vaccines and public health interventions, the company noted.

They are currently offered for research use in various countries globally and the kit, reagents and instruments can be purchased from most of Roche Diagnostics’ affiliates.

Roche Diagnostics CEO Thomas Schinecker said: “Roche has very quickly developed a new suite of tests that detect the monkeypox virus and aid in following its epidemiologic spread.

“Diagnostic tools are crucial for responding to and ultimately controlling emerging public health challenges as they advance response measures such as tracing efforts and treatment strategies.”

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