2022-07-29| TechnologyTrending

BD, CerTest Commercialize Research-Use Monkeypox Test Amidst Rising Cases

by Reed Slater
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As global monkeypox cases surpassed 20,000, BD and CerTest Biotec announced the launch of their research-only PCR monkeypox test for countries outside of the United States. The new test comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. 

A New PCR Test to Better Understand the Outbreak

BD and CerTest initially announced the monkeypox test collaboration in June, working diligently to provide a product just over a month later. CerTest designed its VIASURE monkeypox test for use with the BD MAX System, an open system reagent suite that can provide results for respiratory infections, sexually transmitted infections, gastrointestinal infections, and more. 

The most recent announcement stated that the monkeypox test would only be available for research purposes initially for laboratories outside the United States. The two companies previously collaborated on a COVID-19 PCR test, which helped researchers better understand the SARS-CoV- 2 virus. 

“One of the key advantages of the BD MAX™ System is its open-architecture system that enables rapid response to emerging health threats,” said Nikos Pavlidis, vice president of Molecular Diagnostics at BD. “Just as we did at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we partnered with CerTest to quickly develop a molecular test to help better understand and track this disease.”

BD and CerTest’s monkeypox test is one of many emerging to help understand and potentially prevent the further spread of the virus. Labcorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Aegis Science, and Quest Diagnostics are some of the other companies that have developed monkeypox tests.

Related Article: EMA Responds to Monkeypox Public Health Emergency

The Current State of the Outbreak

Seventy-eight countries have announced at least one confirmed case of monkeypox; 71 of those countries have not historically reported monkeypox. Of the 20,000+ global cases, 99% are detected in men, and 98% in gay or bisexual men. 

WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, issued an announcement on July 28, warning at-risk communities to take the proper precautions to avoid contracting and spreading the virus. Ghebreyesus recommended that men who have sex with men should consider reducing their number of sexual partners and reconsidering sex with new partners. 

Ghebreyesus and the CDC emphasized that, while transmission of monkeypox is most prevalent among men who have sex with men, communities worldwide must take care not to stigmatize that community. Condemning that community could undermine the massive efforts organizations are putting forth to quell the spread of the virus. 

So far, the outbreak has resulted in five deaths, but the alert remains high as the scale of the virus continues to grow across borders internationally. While monkeypox vaccines are available, the WHO does not recommend mass vaccinations at this time and says individuals who know they may be at risk should consider vaccination. 

As seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is coming together to look for better solutions to contain the spread of the monkeypox virus. Diagnostic tests like BD and CerTest’s new PCR test will aid in understanding the virus’ transmission to stop the spread before it gets out of control.


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