Monkeypox: Indian company develops RT-PCR kit to test for virus

Published on May 28, 2022 11:14 AM IST

Over 200 confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox - a disease normally endemic to forested parts of west and central Africa - have been reported from 20 countries.

Indian company develops RT-PCR kit to test for virus(REUTERS)
Indian company develops RT-PCR kit to test for virus(REUTERS)
Written by Manjiri Sachin Chitre | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan

Trivitron Healthcare, a Chennai-based medical devices company, said it had developed a real-time RT-PCR-based kit for the detection of the monkeypox virus. A four-colour fluorescence-based kit, the company has said it can differentiate between smallpox and monkeypox in a one-tube single reaction format. The test takes about one hour to detect the virus (if present), the company said.

In a statement released Friday, Trivitron Healthcare said both dry swabs and swabs placed in VTM (Viral Transport Media) could be used. "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," the statement, cited by news agency ANI, said.

Also read: WHO fears community spread of Monkeypox, India says is prepared | 8 top points

Over 200 confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox - a disease normally endemic to forested parts of west and central Africa - have been reported from 20 countries, including those in Europe, the Middle East and North America, the World Health Organization said Friday.

In a technical briefing reported by news agency Reuters, the WHO also said it feared community spread of the virus. Sylvie Briand, the WHO's director for global infectious hazards preparedness, said the disease is 'containable' at this time if the right measures are put in place.

WHO officials also said there is no need for mass vaccination against the monkeypox virus at this time, but vaccination is available for those who have had close contact with infected people.

Also read: Monekypox spreads to more than 20 nations amid alarm; Global tally nears 200: Full list here

Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said no monkeypox cases have been reported in India as yet. However, the government is prepped for the possibility, particularly since cases seem to be increasing globally.

ICMR scientist Dr Aparna Mukherjee told ANI that people with a travel history to monkeypox-affected countries and those showing symptoms like fever and body ache ought to get tested.

Asking people not to panic, she also said people should 'observe unusual symptoms, like high fever, a lot of lymphadenopathies, large lymph nodes, body ache, rashes, etc.'

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