Pharmaceutical giant Roche is developing PCR tests to screen for monkeypox.

The Roche laboratory said on May 25 that it was developing PCR tests to detect monkeypox. We have “very quickly developed a new series of tests for the detection of the simian pox virus and the monitoring of its spread”, indicated the director of the diagnostics division of Roche, in the press release.

However, the tests developed are not intended for the general public.but rather for research purposes in most countries of the world.

The PCR test more precise than the antigen

A first kit detects orthopoxviruses, including simianpox viruses, a second specifically detects simianpox viruses, while a third kit makes it possible to detect orthopoxviruses while specifying whether a simianpox virus is present or no, says 20 minutes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends screening patients with PCR, more accurate than an antigen test, which does not distinguish the type of virus. And therefore does not make it possible to know whether it is monkeypox.

A disease that is transmitted from animals to humans

As of May 22, 250 cases have been diagnosed in 16 countries around the world, the WHO said.. Monkeypox is, according to the WHO, a virus transmitted to humans by animals whose symptoms are less severe than those observed in the past in subjects with smallpox.