In this study, a rapid method for the detection of Central and West Africa clades of Monkeypox virus (MPXV) using recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assay targeting the G2R gene was developed. MPXV, an Orthopoxvirus, is a zoonotic dsDNA virus, which is listed as a biothreat agent. RPA was operated at a single constant temperature of 42°C and produced results within 3 to 10 minutes. The MPXV-RPA-assay was highly sensitive with a limit of detection of 16 DNA molecules/μl. The clinical performance of the MPXV-RPA-assay was tested using 47 sera and whole blood samples from humans collected during the recent MPXV outbreak in Nigeria as well as 48 plasma samples from monkeys some of which were experimentally infected with MPXV. The specificity of the MPXV-RPA-assay was 100% (50/50), while the sensitivity was 95% (43/45). This new MPXV-RPA-assay is fast and can be easily utilised at low resource settings using a solar powered mobile suitcase laboratory.
Keywords: Monkeypox Virus; Recombinase polymerase amplification assay; mobile suitcase; point of need; rapid detection system.
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