Luminex Corporation has announced it is collaborating with the Laboratory of Molecular Evolution & Bioinformatics, Biomedical Sciences Institute, University of São Paulo, Brazil to validate a multi-analyte Zika virus assay developed by Luminex partner, GenArraytion, Inc. The MultiFLEX™ Mosquito-borne Panel is now available as a research use only (RUO) multiplex panel designed to detect multiple disease agents, including the Zika virus. Luminex is an exclusive distributor of GenArraytion's MultiFLEX Bioassays.
The MultiFLEX Mosquito-borne Panel is a qualitative nucleic acid assay that uses the Luminex® 100/200™ or MAGPIX® instrument to simultaneously test for a broad array of the most common mosquito-borne disease agents, including: Zika virus (4 genetic targets); Chikungunya virus; Dengue virus (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4); West Nile virus; Yellow Fever virus; and Plasmodium falciparum. Luminex is providing a MAGPIX fluorescent detection system while partnering with GenArraytion to provide test kits for the University of São Paulo to validate the assay with clinical samples.
"As a leader in multiplex assays for infectious diseases, we are pleased to collaborate with the distinguished Biomedical Sciences Institute at the University of São Paulo. We believe this collaboration will help ensure our innovative multi-target mosquito-borne panel is ready to aid researchers in rapidly identifying clinical samples from people who may be infected with the Zika virus, or other mosquito-borne diseases," said Nachum "Homi" Shamir, president and CEO of Luminex Corporation.
"All of my Luminex colleagues across the globe share a concern for those affected by the rise in mosquito-borne disease. In addition, we will begin shipping this unique, first-to-market MultiFLEX Mosquito-borne Panel to health care researchers in areas of greatest immediate need in South America, Central America and the Caribbean."
"The multiplex molecular panel will greatly aid our survey efforts to identify not only Zika virus but also concurrent epidemics we are now experiencing in Brazil such as Chikingunya. The MAGPIX platform also has the flexibility to develop and perform Zika-specific serological assays to survey exposed population and establish case-controlled cohorts of pregnant women," said Paolo Zanotto, Professor, Department of Microbiology, Laboratory of Molecular Evolution & Bioinformatics, Biomedical Sciences Institute, University of São Paulo.
Reports of Zika virus infection are rising rapidly; The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 3 to 4 million people across the Americas will be infected with the virus in the next year. Infection has corresponded to a rise in birth defects (microcephaly, Guillain-Barré syndrome and eye abnormalities) in areas affected by Zika. The virus is transmitted mainly by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, such as A. aegypti, the same mosquito that spreads Chikungunya and Dengue Viruses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) elevated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activation to Level 1 in preparation for the Zika virus outbreak.