Biotechnology firm Luminex has formed a collaboration with the University of São Paulo, Brazil to validate a multi-analyte Zika virus assay, developed by GenArraytion.
The MultiFLEX Mosquito-borne Panel qualitative nucleic acid assay is currently available as a research use only multiplex panel designed to identify several disease agents such as the Zika virus.
The panel utilizes the Luminex 100/200 or MAGPIX instrument to simultaneously test for an array of the most common mosquito-borne disease agents
Luminex will provide a MAGPIX fluorescent detection system. The company is partnering with GenArraytion to deliver test kits for the university to validate the assay with clinical samples.
Luminex president and CEO Nachum "Homi" Shamir said: "We believe this collaboration will help ensure our innovative multi-target mosquito-borne panel is ready to aid researchers in rapidly identifying clinical samples from people who may be infected with the Zika virus, or other mosquito-borne diseases."
University of São Paulo professor of department of microbiology, laboratory of molecular evolution & bioinformatics, Biomedical Sciences Institute Paolo Zanotto said: "The MAGPIX platform also has the flexibility to develop and perform Zika-specific serological assays to survey exposed population and establish case-controlled cohorts of pregnant women."
The Zika virus is transmitted mainly by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes like A. aegypti.
The World Health Organization said that the virus is spreading explosively and could affect three to four million people in the next year.
The symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain, itching, conjunctivitis or red eyes, headache, muscle pain, and eye pain.
Image: Aedes aegypti – a mosquito vector of Zika virus. Photo: courtesy of Rafaelgilo.