Universal Diagnostic Assay for Detection and Identification of Poxviruses in Clinical Samples

CDC researchers have developed an assay for detection and diagnosis of poxviruses within clinical samples or from lab culture-systems. The assay specifically targets chordopoxviruses (except avipoxviruses) for PCR-based identification; an improvement upon the current standard of cell culturing methodologies. Individual chordopoxvirus species can cause disease in humans (e.g., vaccinia, cowpox, monkeypox/Molluscum contagiosum) and animals (e.g., sheeppox, myxoma, swinepox, mule deer pox, tanapox/Orf virus, Bovine popular stomatitis virus). Some poxvirus species impart unique and obvious symptoms making them easy to diagnose, while many others are clinically ambiguous. For instance, parapoxvirus infections are often misdiagnosed as cutaneous anthrax, which unnecessarily contributes to overuse of antibacterial agents. There is therefore a demonstrated need to develop better diagnostic tools to detect and properly identify the agent of poxvirus infections. Regardless of the symptoms, this universal assay can quickly and reliably detect chordopoxvirus presence in clinical samples, allowing for proper identification, diagnosis, treatment, and improved patient outcomes.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Nucleic acid-based diagnostic for 'unknown rash' illnesses and identifying novel poxviruses
  • Disease surveillance programs, including public health and veterinary (livestock, domestic, wild/exotic)
  • Rapid and simple
  • Allows for high-throughput, simultaneous sample screening
  • Detects, identifies all low-G/C content non-avipox chordopoxviruses and most known high-G/C content chordopoxviruses

Development Stage:
In vitro data available


Yu Li (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Inger Damon (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Hui Zhao (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Pat: 8,859,742 issued 2014-10-14
PCT Application No. PCT/US2010/055061 filed on 2010-11-02
US Application No. 13/505,719 filed on 2012-05-02
Various international patent applications pending

Li Y, et al. PMID 19906902

Licensing Contact:
Jeremiah Mitzelfelt,
Email: jeremiah.mitzelfelt@nih.gov
Phone: 301-443-8518

OTT Reference No: E-265-2013-0
Updated: Jan 16, 2014