Though epidemiologists are nowhere near as concerned about the growing monkeypox outbreak as they were about COVID-19 when it first emerged over two years ago, the speed at which cases of the virus are expanding has public health experts urging the public and healthcare providers to be on the alert. Companies have also started launching new diagnostic tests for the monkeypox virus, giving providers a tool to confirm suspected cases.
Research use only assays have also been developed to assist in gaining more insight into the outbreak. In just over the past week two new RUO options, as well as a point-of-care solution, were launched:
- June 23: Eurofins company Gold Standard Diagnostics announced the launch of its PCR assay for detecting monkeypox. The new multiplex real-time PCR assay can also differentiate between monkeypox and other orthopox viruses. The Mplex Monkeypox, Orthopox Real-time PCR will only be available for research use only (RUO), starting in July, the company said in a statement.
- June 28: Clinical diagnostics company Novacyt announced the launch of its RUO PCR monkeypox assay that is available in two forms, genesig® easy and genesig® advanced, to detect both West African and Central African variants of the monkeypox virus genome.
- June 29: Portable molecular testing company Anitoa Systems announced the launch of its CE-marked, “turn-key” PCR solution for testing for monkeypox. The portable solution includes a real-time PCR instrument and extraction-free multiplex PCR reagent to test skin lesion samples from patients suspected of having monkeypox. The test can be carried out at the point of care, avoiding the need to transport samples to a central lab for testing.
These three new tests will help to monitor and diagnose the current variants of monkeypox involved in the outbreak as well as track new and emerging variants. The testing solutions join several other recently-launched monkeypox testing options reported in our June 2022 Lab Industry Report.