A day after a 35-year-old African-American man with no recent history of foreign travel tested positive for Monkeypox in Delhi, bringing the total count in the country to 8, a top scientist said that the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratories (VRDL) had tested about a hundred samples until Wednesday morning. Dr Pragya Yadav, a senior scientist at ICMR-NIV, Pune, told ANI today, “We have evaluated roughly 100 samples at ICMR-NIV Pune and VRDL until August 2 morning.”
Notably, the National Centre for Disease Control in Delhi has begun testing samples for Monkeypox detection, since ICMR-NIV is sharing reagents with the NCDC and a network of 15 laboratories across the nation.
“15 Virus research and diagnostic laboratories (VRDLs) have been trained to conduct diagnostic tests using ICMR-NIV Pune.” We provided reagents to the NCDC in Delhi and the AIIMS in Delhi for testing. “The ICMR-NIV in Pune serves as a node for testing and coordination,” explained Dr Pragya Yadav.
When asked if any samples were still undergoing testing, she stated, “We do not have any samples pending testing as of today.” Sample testing is an ongoing procedure that is being completed.”
“Samples are gathered in accordance with Union Health Ministry requirements,” she explained.
When asked if ICMR- NIV had isolated the virus and what the next step would be to restrict the virus’s transmission, Dr Pragya stated, “Isolation of Monkeypox virus is carried out in Vero cells utilising clinical specimens of Monkeypox virus positive verified case.”
“Monkeypox virus isolates in cell culture and animal model will be further characterised.” To create indigenous serological assays for Monkeypox diagnosis and sero-surveillance research, as well as to create a vaccine candidate and test its immunogenicity in animal models.”
“VRDL network is already reinforced to perform surveillance as well as a differential diagnosis of suspicious instances,” she said.
On Tuesday, two new cases of monkeypox were verified in India, one in Kerala and the other in Delhi.
The case in Kerala involves a 30-year-old guy who returned from the UAE last week. The number of Monkeypox cases in the state has already reached five. Notably, all five have a history of visiting the UAE.