Luminex Corp, Austin, Texas, has joined forces with the laboratory of molecular evolution and bioinformatics at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, to validate a multianalyte arbovirus assay developed by Luminex partner, GenArraytion Inc, Rockville, Md.

The MultiFlex mosquito-borne virus panel is a qualitative nucleic acid assay that uses the Luminex 100/200 or Magpix instrument to simultaneously test for a broad array of the most common mosquito-borne disease agents, including chikungunya virus, dengue virus (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4), Plasmodium falciparum, West Nile virus, yellow fever virus, and Zika virus (four genetic targets). Luminex is providing a Magpix fluorescent detection system while partnering with GenArraytion to provide test kits for the University of São Paulo to validate the assay with clinical samples.

Photo ShamirHomi crop640

Homi Shamir, Luminex.

“All of my Luminex colleagues across the globe share a concern for those affected by the rise in mosquito-borne disease,” says Nachum “Homi” Shamir, president and CEO of Luminex. “We believe this collaboration will help ensure our innovative multitarget 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. In addition, we will begin shipping this unique, first-to-market MultiFlex mosquito-borne panel to healthcare researchers in areas of greatest immediate need in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.”

“The multiplex molecular panel will greatly aid our survey efforts to identify not only Zika virus but also concurrent epidemics we are now experiencing in Brazil, such as chikungunya,” says Paolo Zanotto, DPhil, MSc, professor of microbiology at the University of São Paulo. “The Magpix platform also has the flexibility to develop and perform Zika-specific serological assays to survey exposed populations and establish case-controlled cohorts of pregnant women.”

The World Health Organization estimates that 3 to 4 million people across the Americas will be infected with the virus in the next year, and has declared the Zika virus a public health emergency of international concern. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention elevated its emergency operations center activation to Level 1 in preparation for the Zika virus outbreak.

Luminex is an exclusive distributor of GenArraytion’s MultiFlex bioassays. The MultiFlex mosquito-borne panel is now available for research use only. For more information, visit Luminex and GenArraytion.