Trivitron Healthcare, a medical device company, said on 27th May that it had developed a Real-Time PCR-based kit for the identification of the Monkeypox virus (or Orthopoxvirus).
Meanwhile, the WHO Country Office for India had recently requested assistance from the ICMR-National Institute of Virology in Pune to analyze suspected monkeypox virus cases for member-states of the South East Asia Region (SEAR).
The monkeypox virus has become a global public health concern since it not only affects countries in West and Central Africa but is also spreading rapidly around the world.
Diagnostic tools are critical for responding to growing public health concerns in response measures such as tracing efforts and treatment options. Trivitron Healthcare’s Research & Development team has developed a Monkeypox viral diagnostic kit based on RT-PCR.
Monkeypox virus RT-PCR kit is a 4 color fluorescence-based kit
The Monkeypox Virus Real-Time PCR Kit from Trivitron is a four-color fluorescence-based kit that can distinguish between Smallpox and Monkeypox in a one-tube single-reaction format with a one-hour turnaround time.
The first target in this four-gene RT-PCR kit detects viruses in the wider orthopox group, the second and third targets detect and differentiate the Monkeypox and Smallpox viruses, respectively, and the fourth target detects the internal control corresponding to human cell to address assay performance and aid in tracking the epidemic’s spread.
This kit is available as Research-Use only (RUO) and based on literature search and in-silico design.
According to the WHO, due to its sensitivity and specificity, ‘Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing’ is the chosen research laboratory technique for detection. Antigen (Ag) and antibody (Ab) detection techniques can not give Monkeypox-specific detection because Orthopoxviruses are ‘serologically cross-reactive.’
As a result, when resources are scarce, serology and antigen detection procedures are not recommended for detection or case investigation.
The WHO recommended specimen type for laboratory confirmation of Monkeypox is skin lesion material, including swabs of lesion surface and/or exudate, roofs from more than one lesion, or lesion crusts. Dry swabs and swabs in viral transport medium (VTM) can thus both be used.
“The current scenario necessitates rapid action to halt the spread of the virus. “India has always been at the forefront of extending support to the world, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the world needs assistance this time as well,” said Chandra Ganjoo, Group Chief Executive Officer of Trivitron Healthcare.
Further, in 2017, Nigeria was hit by a massive outbreak, with over 500 suspected cases of monkeypox, over 200 confirmed cases, and a case fatality rate of over 3%. The cases are still being reported today.
Several probable causes of monkeypox were discovered in a number of non-endemic countries in May 2022. Research is now being conducted to better understand the virus’s epidemiology, sources of propagation, and transmission patterns.