Smallpox of monkeys, Italian first rapid test

The trial will be conducted by the Cotugno hospital in Naples: “We hope to leave at the end of the summer”

AND’ the first rapid blood test for monkeypox. It was developed by the Sannio Tech Consortium (Benevento) and the trial will be conducted by the Cotugno hospital in Naples. “We hope to leave at the end of the summer, after the green light from the hospital’s Ethics Committee,” Alessandro Perrella, who will coordinate the human trial, explains to Adnkronos Salute the Cotugno infectious disease specialist. “The merit of the test goes to the colleagues of Sannio Tech who had the intuition and the ability to develop this first test for monkeypox in Italy. There are no such rapid tests approved today – Perrella clarifies – There are Chinese tests, but they have not received the OK from the Ministry of Health, while ours has the characteristics to get the green light “.

The next step now is “to be sure that it also works outside the laboratory, therefore in ‘real life'”, adds the infectious disease specialist. “Thanks to this test we could understand if the virus is present or if a person has already immunized – Perrella specifies – We will test it on a small group of patients and we think that then it can also be used as a screening for certain subjects, for example those who have been in contact with patients or healthcare personnel “.

This type of rapid test, in which a drop of blood is enough, is based on the search for immunoglobulins G and M in the blood, the ‘indicator’ that the monkeypox is there or has passed. “But at the moment the test will be done in the hospital with trained health personnel”, points out the infectious disease specialist.

On the possibility that vaccinations against monkeypox will start in Italy – the confirmed cases in the country are 505 according to the latest update – “should make a series of assessments on certain risk categories – says Perrella – I am thinking of those under 45-50 who have not been vaccinated in the past “against smallpox” or the frail. But without fuss or fear. The disease is kept at baywe have an antiviral that works in the acute phase and has already been used successfully in the US during an outbreak in 2018. Today at Cotugno we have 20 monkeypox patients, all in isolation at home. We hope that the situation remains this way “.