Medical devices firm Trivitron Healthcare has developed a real-time (RT) PCR-based kit for the detection of the monkeypox (orthopoxvirus) virus.

The new RT PCR kit is a four-colour fluorescence-based kit that helps to differentiate smallpox and monkeypox in a one-tube single reaction format.

Trivitron stated that the test kit has a total turnaround time for detecting the virus of approximately an hour.

The first gene in the four-gene RT-PCR kit detects the viruses in the wider orthopox group, while the second and third genes identify and differentiate the monkeypox and smallpox viruses, respectively.

The fourth gene detects the internal control corresponding to human cells to help track the epidemic spread of the virus.

Available as research-use only (RUO), the monkeypox RT PCR kit has been developed based on literature search and in-silico design.

Trivitron Healthcare Group CEO Chandra Ganjoo was quoted by The Economic Times as saying: “As a responsible MedTech product manufacturer, we feel that the current situation calls for immediate measures to stop the viral spread.

“India has always been at the forefront of extending help to the world, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, and this time also the world needs assistance.”

For laboratory confirmation of monkeypox, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended specimen types in skin lesion material, such as swabs of lesion surface and/or exudate, roofs from more than one lesion or lesion crusts.

The company said in a statement that the dry swabs and swabs placed in viral transport medium (VTM) could be used for testing.

Monkeypox is spreading at a fast pace globally and has become a disease of global public health importance.

Recently, the WHO country office for India requested help from the ICMR-National Institute of Virology to test suspected monkeypox cases in Southeast Asia Region (SEAR) member-states.