HealthTrackRx, a PCR diagnostic testing lab, is now offering a molecular test for detection of the human monkeypox virus. The test was developed by the company’s research and development team and is available to the thousands of HealthTrackRx customers across the country in response to the rapidly growing public health emergency.
“In light of The World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency and the proliferation of cases in our communities, we’re pleased to deploy a means of rapidly detecting this virus,” says Martin Price, CEO and Chairman of HealthTrackRx. “Applying molecular diagnostics to detect infectious diseases and getting those results in healthcare providers’ hands by the next day is our mission and is where we can make a difference in containing this crisis.”
Monkeypox PCR Test
The HealthTrackRx assay is a pan-monkeypox test that detects both the West African and Congo basin strains of the virus, using the TaqMan multiplex real-time PCR technology from Thermo Fisher Scientific.
“Testing is one of the first and most crucial strategies for containment of an infectious disease outbreak or pandemic,” says Vijay Singh, PhD, who led the research and development teams’ effort to develop and validate the assay. “The non-endemic spread of human monkeypox is an urgent public health threat. The rapid development of the pan-Monkeypox Assay at HealthTrackRx, alongside our industry partners, demonstrates our commitment to public health by delivering solutions that accelerate results to patients.”
Healthcare providers will be able to order the pan-Monkeypox Assay as a stand-alone test or in combination with other lesion/ulcer causative pathogens that may be confused with human monkeypox.
While the virus is predominantly being spread in the United States from sexual transmission, the clinical presentation does not fit with many traditional sexually transmitted infections. The intended use only includes pathogens that have the clinical manifestation of lesions, ulcers, or other skin abnormalities.
Specimens that test positive for human monkeypox will be reported to the physicians who order the test. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health authorities will be notified of positive tests for surveillance purposes.
The widespread availability of a human monkeypox test follows the company’s announcement last week that it has been working in partnership with the CDC to conduct an epidemiologic study that will contribute to understanding the spread of human monkeypox within the United States. The study will be accruing critical data regarding the spread of human monkeypox across the United States.