India-based medical devices firm Trivitron Healthcare has developed the Real-Time PCR-based kit for the detection of monkeypox (orthopoxvirus) virus.

The Monkeypox Real-Time PCR Kit is a four-colour fluorescence-based kit that can distinguish between smallpox and monkeypox in a one-tube single-reaction format with a one-hour turnaround time.

Trivitron said that the first target in this four-gene RT-PCR kit detects viruses in the wider orthopox group, and the second and third targets detect and differentiate the monkeypox and smallpox viruses, respectively.

The fourth target detects the internal control corresponding to human cells to address assay performance and aid in tracking the epidemic’s spread.

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

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

Trivitron Healthcare’s Research & Development team has developed a monkeypox viral diagnostic kit based on RT-PCR.

Trivitron Healthcare Group chief executive officer Chandra Ganjoo said:  “The current situation calls for immediate measures to stop the viral spread.

“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.”

As per WHO, ‘Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing’ is the preferred research laboratory technique for detection based on its sensitivity and specificity.

The WHO also recommended specimen type for monkeypox laboratory confirmation is skin lesion material, including swabs of lesion surface and/or exudate, roofing from many lesions, or lesion crusts.