Fri, 01 Jul 2022

GENEVA, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Swiss multinational healthcare company Roche said on Wednesday that it has developed three test kits to detect the monkeypox virus, which has recently been spreading outside its epidemic areas in Africa.

In a statement, Roche said the company and its subsidiary TIB Molbiol have developed three unique LightMix Modular Virus kits in response to recent monkeypox virus concerns.

The first LightMix Modular Virus kit detects orthopoxviruses, including all monkeypox viruses from both the West African and Central African forms of the virus, or referred to as clades.

The second kit is a specific test detecting monkeypox viruses only.

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, according to the statement.

Monkeypox, first detected in laboratory monkeys in 1958, is assumed to transmit from wild animals such as rodents to people, or from human to human.

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.

According to WHO, endemic monkeypox disease is normally geographically limited to West and Central Africa. The identification of confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox without any travel history to an endemic area in multiple countries is atypical.

WHO's data show that as of Monday, 19 countries had reported 131 confirmed monkeypox cases and 106 suspected cases, of which nearly three quarters were from Spain, Portugal and Britain.

WHO has said as surveillance expands in non-endemic countries, there will be more monkeypox cases identified.

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