Meridian Bioscience, a provider of diagnostic testing solutions and life science raw materials, announced its inhibitor-tolerant qPCR master mixes can develop fast, accurate, and highly sensitive qPCR monkeypox virus molecular diagnostic tests.

The recent outbreak of monkeypox has caused global concern due to its unprecedented rapid spread, resulting in what is feared to be the largest outbreak outside of Africa. Monkeypox is an orthopoxvirus first identified in monkeys and has historically only circulated in central and west Africa. Since May 13, 2022, more than 250 monkeypox cases have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from 17 countries outside of Africa, with no known direct travel links to endemic areas.

Screening assays that detect low levels of the virus will be instrumental in helping to contain the outbreak as it continues to spread globally.  Monkeypox has a long incubation period of up to three weeks, making traditional viral culture techniques not ideal for testing for monkeypox.  Serology testing is also challenging due to the close antigenic relation between surface antigens among the orthopoxviruses. Therefore, confirmation of monkeypox infection requires qPCR detection, which is considered the most rapid, sensitive, and accurate method for viral diagnosis. 

Meridian has identified its inhibitor-tolerant qPCR master mixes as the best molecular master mixes in its portfolio for the detection of monkeypox.  These mixes have versions compatible with either wet or dry assay formats with its Lyo-ready or Air-dryable technologies.

“With any outbreak, it’s critical to bring accurate testing to healthcare professionals as quickly as possible.  Meridian helped bring over 100 COVID-19 tests to market, including dozens in the early months of the pandemic, and is prepared to support diagnostic manufacturers in developing assays for monkeypox,” says Lourdes Weltzien, PhD, executive VP, Life Science.  “Our inhibitor-tolerant qPCR mixes are perfect for developing monkeypox assays without the need for further optimization, greatly reducing development time.  Our team is standing by to help customers identify the best master mix for their application.”

Meridian aims to provide innovation and quality products to the IVD community, with a focus on developing tools that improve assay accuracy, increase operational efficiencies, and reduce overall costs to enable screening assays that are fast and affordable.