Ongoing trial for a lateral flow test that could detect monkeypox in 10 minutes

As monkeypox infections continue to rise, a new lateral flow test that could detect the disease in humans in just 10 minutes is being tested with help from UK companies.

The trial is supported by Derby life science company SureScreen Diagnostics, Yorkshire-based medical technology provider TestCard and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.

The news comes as the Scottish government confirmed it will offer vaccines to high-risk groups.

Earlier this month, two more cases of the contagious disease were detected in Scotland, with a total of 846 confirmed cases in the UK.

During the pandemic, SureScreen was involved in some of the first Covid-19 flow tests to be carried out in the UK. The monkeypox test uses a small drop of blood pricked on the finger and is believed to be the first of its kind in Europe, Business Live reports.

This test is not unlike the Covid-19 lateral flow test

The government said that as of 22 June 2022 there were 846 laboratory confirmed cases of monkeypox in the UK and it has been declared a notifiable disease by the UK Health Security Agency, requiring professionals of health and health to alert local authorities. health authorities to suspected cases.

The current outbreak has largely occurred among gay and bisexual men, according to the UKHSA.

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It is spread through close contact with an infected person and symptoms can include high temperature, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen glands, chills, exhaustion and usually later a skin rash.

It is currently diagnosed by a PCR test with a viral swab taken from a patient’s skin by a clinician, which must then be sent to the laboratory for testing.

SureScreen said its system uses a rapid diagnostic device with a digital reader app that can be performed at home.

He said it had the potential to notify clinicians much more quickly of the spread of the disease through TestCard’s ClearScreen app and, if successful, tests could be ready to roll out within months.

The monkeypox trials are the latest in an ongoing partnership between the three organisations, which have worked together on developing lateral flow tests and digital reading apps for Covid-19.

SureScreen said the Covid-19 antigenic LFTs were the first European tests to pass the laboratory validation process by Public Health England last year and, in addition to being used under the UK government’s rapid testing scheme , are exported to about 60 countries globally.

SureScreen Diagnostics Director David Campbell said: “We are extremely grateful to be working with such an amazing team at Guy’s and St Thomas’ on this groundbreaking work developing a rapid lateral flow antibody test that can be used to help monitor and understand the spread of monkeypox across the UK and beyond.

“We don’t expect monkeypox to be a problem like Covid-19 has been, but as we learned during the early stages of Covid-19, it is essential that quality testing is done. in place quickly so that we can better understand the nature and spread of the disease.

“This work also demonstrates another example of how lateral flow technology can play such a critical role in healthcare around the world outside of Covid-19 and it will help us improve healthcare across the world. ‘coming.

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Dr Rahul Batra MD, Head of Technology and Innovations at the Center for Clinical Infection and Diagnostics Research at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Although monkeypox does not spread easily and there is no currently does not need mass community testing, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that emerging infectious diseases require rapid development of diagnostics, effective surveillance, and health information systems capable of using the data point-of-care diagnostics for quick and effective interventions.

“Building on previous successful collaboration with our diagnostic and digital technology partners SureScreen and TestCard, we were able to rapidly develop and begin testing a new point-of-care test for monkeypox antibodies.

“Our hope is that this test and others we have in development will provide a mechanism to help clinicians rapidly identify cases, clusters and sources of infection earlier than before, in order to provide care. optimal clinics to patients. and prevent further transmissions.”

SureScreen said anyone who has a new blistering rash or who has been in close or sexual contact with someone who has or may have monkeypox – even if they have yet to be tested – within three weeks, or who has been in West or Central Africa in the last three weeks, should visit a sexual health clinic.

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