Alappuzha unit of NIV begins monkeypox testing

July 19, 2022 07:25 pm | Updated 07:25 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram


The Alappuzha unit of the National Institute of Virology (NIV) has started running the diagnostic tests for distinguishing monkeypox virus from clinical specimens, a statement issued by Health Minister Veena George said on Tuesday.

All 28 State laboratories with RT-PCR testing facilities are equipped to conduct monkeypox testing. However, as a first step, test kits were given to the NIV lab at Alapuzha.

Random samples of cases with symptoms similar to chickenpox from districts are being sent to Alapuzha lab now. As the disease is a newly reported one in the State, utmost biosafety-level precautions are being maintained in conducting the tests, the statement said.

Ms. George claimed that the State developing diagnostic capacity within five days of confirming monkeypox in the STate is a major achievement and that all delays in sending samples to the NIV and awaiting results can be avoided

Clinical specimens used for testing for monkeypox viruses include nasopharygeal swabs, skin lesion material or exudates from lesions, urine and blood, which have to be sent to the lab maintaining the cold chain

DNA material extracted from the specimens are first put through the generic RT-PCR test for Pox viruses and if positive, confirmatory test for monkeypox virus is done as a second step.

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