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PCR tests: How the monkeypox virus is detected

With four reported cases of monkeypox in the UAE, health authorities are strengthening their measures to avoid the spread of the virus. One of the measures includes the PCR testing of suspected cases.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), to confirm a monkeypox infection, laboratory tests must use real-time or conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect unique sequences of viral DNA.

WHO also said that laboratory testing would “enable timely and accurate confirmation of infection to support the breaking of chains of transmission, to stop the outbreak.”

Skin lesion material is the recommended specimen type for monkeypox laboratory confirmation.

Swabs of lesion surfaces, roofs from many lesions, or lesion crusts are some examples of recommended specimens for PCR testing.

Dr. Shivani Anubhav Chaturvedi, clinical pathologist and lab director at Aster Medinova Diagnostic Centre in Bur Dubai, emphasized that “Two or more swabs should be collected for the highest diagnostic yield.”

Furthermore, health establishments in the UAE are obligated to report any suspected or confirmed monkeypox cases to MoHap’s automated reporting system for infectious illnesses. BKM/ Expat Media

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