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RT-PCR Test Detects Monkeypox Virus Delivers Results in 90 Minutes

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 29 Jun 2022
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Image: Assay targets monkeypox virus and can deliver results in 90 minutes (Photo courtesy of Seegene)
Image: Assay targets monkeypox virus and can deliver results in 90 minutes (Photo courtesy of Seegene)

Monkeypox is an acute zoonotic infection disease caused by the monkeypox virus (MPXV). The disease is mainly transmitted by animals, but it can also be transmitted from person to person through physical contact, body fluids, or even contaminated objects, showing symptoms such as fever, severe headache, and muscle pain. As with many infectious diseases, accurate diagnosis is crucial as treatments are more effective in the early stages of infection. PCR test is known as the gold standard to accurately detect MPXV, so it can be used effectively to prevent the rapid spread of the virus. Timely PCR testing vital, especially for individuals with a suspected case, as the incubation period for the monkeypox infection ranges between five to 21 days. Now, a new real-time PCR assay accurately detects MPXV specifically with a single test and delivers results within 90 minutes.

Seegene, Inc. (Seoul, Korea) has developed a PCR test to detect the MPXV. The Novaplex MPXV Assay, which specifically targets the MPXV, was swiftly developed using the company's AI-based automated test development system, known as SGDDS (Seegene Digitalized Development System), and technologies refined over 20 years of MDx expertise.

According to the World Health Organization, the MPXV is an "evolving health threat that requires collective attention and coordinated action," calling on member states to step up surveillance, contact tracing and testing. The MPXV has been detected in over 50 nations, with South Korea confirming its first case last week. The strain currently circulating in the Northern Hemisphere has an estimated fatality rate of between 3-6% and is considered especially dangerous for children and those with weak immune systems.

Seegene’s Novaplex MPXV Assay can identify positive cases of the MPXV in 90 minutes. The company swiftly developed the product to help curb the worldwide spread. Seegene plans to provide the assay to countries that have detected the virus.

"The monkeypox virus outbreak shows that endemic viruses can rapidly spread to the rest of the world and it's a warning that new pandemics can emerge and threaten our lives at any time," said Dr. Jong-Yoon Chun, CEO of Seegene. "We will continue our efforts to develop products that can accurately diagnose any virus to help prevent new infectious diseases from taking hold and becoming a pandemic."

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