INDIA – Trivitron Healthcare, a medical device company, announced it has developed a real-time PCR-based kit for the detection of monkeypox virus in India.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Country Office in India recently asked the ICMR-National Institute of Virology in Pune to test suspected cases of monkeypox for South East Asia Region (SEAR) member-states.

Monkeypox has become a disease of global public health significance because it not only affects countries in West and Central Africa, but it is also spreading rapidly throughout the world, with approximately 200 confirmed and more than 100 suspected cases in more than 20 countries.

The monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the Poxviridae family, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The genus Orthopoxvirus also includes: the Variola virus (which causes smallpox), the Vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and the cowpox virus.

Diagnostic tools are critical for responding to emerging public health challenges and for response measures such as tracing efforts and treatment strategies.

India has always been at the forefront of extending help to the world, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this time also the world needs assistance,” said Chandra Ganjoo, Group Chief Executive Officer, Trivitron Healthcare, in the statement.

The Monkeypox 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 total turnaround time of one hour.

The first target in this four gene RT-PCR kit detects viruses in the larger orthopox group, the second and third targets detect and differentiate the Monkeypox and Smallpox viruses, respectively.

The fourth target detects the internal control corresponding to human cell to address assay performance and aid in following the epidemic spread.

Based on a literature search and in-silico design, this kit is available as Research-Use Only (RUO).

Roche and its unit, TIB Molbiol, became the first to announce the development of three test kits to detect the monkeypox virus.

One of the three LightMix Modular Virus kits, according to the Swiss company, detects orthopoxviruses, a biological grouping that includes viruses associated with monkeypox, smallpox, and cowpox.

Meanwhile, with monkeypox cases being identified around the world, an official with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) stated that India is prepared in light of rising infections in non-endemic countries, though no cases have been reported in the country thus far.

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