Infectious Disease

Mayo Clinic is second commercial lab to begin monkeypox testing

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Disclosures:
Morice is employed by the Mayo Clinic. Walensky reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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Mayo Clinic Laboratories on Monday became the second commercial laboratory in the US to begin monkeypox testing as part of an effort to increase testing capacity and access.

“The ability of commercial laboratories to test for monkeypox is an important pillar in our comprehensive strategy to combat this disease,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, mdMPH, said in a press release. “This will not only increase testing capacity but also make it more convenient for providers and patients to access tests by using existing provider-to-laboratory networks.”

IDN0622Monkeypox_vaccination_Graphic_01_WEB

Mayo Clinic Laboratories will begin testing for monkeypox starting Monday, July 11. Source: Adobe Stock.

According to the CDC, Mayo Clinic Laboratories will accept specimens from anywhere in the country and is expected to perform up to 10,000 tests per week. The company is one of five commercial laboratories that will receive orthopoxvirus tests from HHS to increase monkeypox testing capacity. Labcorp began testing last week.

The Mayo Clinic said testing will be performed in its Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology in Rochester, Minnesota, “which is experienced in testing for rare infectious diseases.” Patients can access testing through providers who use Mayo Clinic Laboratories as their reference laboratory.

“Our teams have worked collaboratively with the CDC to validate this test to provide patients with accurate and timely answers,” William Morice II, MD, PhD, president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories, said in a press release. “Access to testing is vital to combat infectious diseases to ensure patients are reducing the spread of the illness and receiving the treatments they need.”

The CDC expects additional laboratories named by HHS — Aegis Science, Quest Diagnostics and Sonic Healthcare — to begin testing later this summer as the monkeypox outbreak continues.

In addition to increased testing, the CDC has issued travel alerts and expanded access to vaccines in response to the outbreak.

WHO has declined so far to declare the outbreak of a public health emergency of international concern, although an emergency committee plans to meet again on July 18 or sooner if to discuss the situation.

References:

Mayo Clinic Laboratories launches monkeypox test to increase access, availability. https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-laboratories-launches-monkeypox-test-to-increase-access-availability/. Posted on July 11, 2022. Accessed on July 11, 2022.

HHS expanding monkeypox testing capacity to five commercial laboratory companies. https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2022/06/22/hhs-expanding-monkeypox-testing-capacity-five-commercial-laboratory-companies.html. Posted on June 22, 2022. Accessed on July 11, 2022.

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