Monkey pox: Roche develops tests for PCR virus

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche announced on Wednesday that it had developed PCR tests to detect the monkey pox virus following a series of outbreaks in parts of the world.

The tests were developed by Roche and its subsidiary TIB Molbiol, “in response to a recent outbreak of smallpox virus infection,” he said in a press release.

• Also read: 15 confirmed cases of smallpox, vaccines arrive in Quebec

• Also read: Monkey pox: ‘It’s a little too early to talk about an epidemic’

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“Roche has very quickly developed a new series of tests to detect and monitor the spread of the monkey pox virus,” said Roche, director of diagnostics, in a press release.

According to the World Health Organization, the recent outbreaks, which have already reported more than 250 cases in 16 countries on 22 May, are atypical, as they occur in countries where the disease, which is characterized by skin lesions in monkeys, is not endemic.

The tests developed by Roche are not intended for the general public, but are available for research purposes in most countries around the world.

The first set identifies orthopoxviruses, including monkeypox viruses, the second specifically identifies simianpox viruses, and the third set allows the detection of orthopoxviruses, indicating whether or not they are present.

According to the WHO, the disease should be detected by a PCR test, as antigen tests cannot determine whether it is a monkeypox virus or other related viruses. The best examples of diagnosis are lesions, swabs of exudates (wound fluid) or damage to the cortex.

Monkeypox or monkeys are, according to the WHO, a rare viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to animals by humans) with less severe symptoms than those previously seen in smallpox patients.

With its eradication in 1980 and the subsequent cessation of smallpox vaccination, this orthopoxvirus became the most important virus of its kind.

This occurs sporadically in tropical forest areas in Central and West Africa. The disease was first detected in humans in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1970 (formerly Zaire).

In 2003, cases were confirmed in the United States, marking the first case of the disease outside Africa. Most had been exposed to domestic prairie dogs infected with imported African rodents.

Georgie Collins

"Falls down a lot. Writer. Passionate alcohol maven. Future teen idol. Hardcore music practitioner. Food fanatic. Devoted travel fan."

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