Roche and its subsidiary TIB Molbiol have developed a series of tests for the detection of the monkeypox virus, the Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company announced.
The monkeypox virus is a close relative of the smallpox virus, belonging to orthpoxviridae in the poxviridae family.
The modular virus detection tool, called LightMix, includes three orthpoxvirus detection kits with different functions, Roche said in a statement. The first kit detects orthpoxvirus; The second kit tests only for monkeypox virus (west and Central African branches); The third kit contains the main functions of the first two kits, showing specific information on the presence of the monkeypox virus (west and Central African branches) as well as the detection of orpoxvirus.
Thomas Schinek, a Roche executive, said the new test could detect monkeypox and help track its spread. Such diagnostic tools are critical for addressing and ultimately managing emerging public health challenges, as they advance responses such as tracking efforts and treatment strategies.
The monkeypox virus was first identified in 1958 in a group of monkeys used for research when the animals developed a "pox-like" infection, hence the name. Since May, several non-endemic countries have reported human cases of the monkeypox virus, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Portugal, Spain, and Italy.
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