Technology ID

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

Lead Inventor
Li, Yu (CDC)
Damon, Inger (CDC)
Zhao, Hui (CDC)
Research Materials
Occupational Safety and Health
Consumer Products
Therapeutic Areas
Infectious Disease
Development Stages
Pre-Clinical (in vitro)
Development Status
In vitro data available
Lead IC
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.
Commercial Applications
  • Nucleic acid-based diagnostic for 'unknown rash' illnesses and identifying novel poxviruses
  • Disease surveillance programs, including public health and veterinary (livestock, domestic, wild/exotic)
Competitive Advantages
  • 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
Licensing Contact:
Mitzelfelt, Jeremiah