Roche Develops Unique PCR Tests to Detect the Monkeypox Virus
Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) and its subsidiary TIB Molbiol have developed three unique LightMix® Modular Virus kits in response to recent monkeypox virus concerns. Multiple clusters of the monkeypox virus have been reported within the past two weeks in several European countries and North America, which are regions where the virus is not normally found.
“Roche has very quickly developed a new suite of tests that detect the monkeypox virus and aid in following its epidemiologic spread,” said Thomas Schinecker, CEO Roche Diagnostics. “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.”
The first LightMix Modular Virus kit detects orthopoxviruses, including all monkeypox viruses from both the West African and Central African forms of the virus (referred to as clades).The second kit is a specific test detecting monkeypox viruses only (West African and Central African clade). For researchers interested in obtaining both of these results, a third kit is available that simultaneously detects orthopoxviruses plus provides information on whether a monkeypox virus is present or not (West African and Central African clade).
The test kits are available for research use in the majority of countries worldwide.
About the LightMix® Modular Orthopox / MonkeypoxVirus kits
The LightMix® Modular Orthopox /Monkeypox Virus Kits are assays that detect Orthopoxviruses, including the monkeypox virus, using a technology called quantitative PCR (qPCR). To do this, first sample using an established NA extraction method. The assay is then performed on either a LightCycler® 480 II Instrument or cobas z 480 Analyzer. The kit, reagents and instruments are all available to purchase from the majority of Roche Diagnostics affiliates.
About the virus
Monkeypox was first detected in laboratory monkeys in 1958. The virus is, however, assumed to transmit from wild animals such as rodents to people — or from human to human. In an average year, a few thousand cases occur in Western and Central Africa. But cases outside Africa have been limited to just a handful that are associated with travel to Africa or with the importation of infected animals. Treatments and vaccines that were developed for smallpox are available and are thought to be useful to limit spreading of Monkeypox.1