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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2010 Feb;82(2):318-23. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2010.09-0361.

Application of the Ibis-T5000 pan-Orthopoxvirus assay to quantitatively detect monkeypox viral loads in clinical specimens from macaques experimentally infected with aerosolized monkeypox virus.

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  • 1U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, 1301 Ditto Avenue, Fort Detrick, MD 21702, USA.


Monkeypox virus (MPXV), a member of the family Poxviridae and genus Orthopoxvirus, causes a smallpox-like disease in humans. A previously described pan-Orthopoxvirus assay, based on a broad-range polymerase chain reaction (PCR) coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS), was evaluated for its ability to detect MPXV from spiked human and aerosol-infected cynomolgous macaque (Macaca fascicularis) samples. Detection of MPXV DNA from macaque tissue, blood, and spiked human blood by the PCR/ESI-MS pan-Orthopoxvirus assay was comparable, albeit at slightly higher levels, to the current gold standard method of real-time PCR with the pan-Orthopoxvirus assay and had a limit of detection of 200 plaque-forming units. Furthermore, the platform was able to distinguish MPXV and vaccinia viruses that were spiked into macaque blood samples at various concentrations. This platform provides a new tool for the diagnosis and monitoring of orthopoxviral loads during vaccine or antiviral studies, but also could provide rapid identification during natural outbreaks or bioterrorism attacks.

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