Twist Bioscience has launched two monkeypox synthetic DNA controls that are estimated to provide 80% coverage of the viral genome. They support the design of “custom assays targeting regions of the genome”. They can also be used for “amplicon and capture-based detection methods”. These controls are “sequence-verified” using next-generation sequencing and droplet digital PCR technologies.
The Twist controls include both known clades of the virus: the Central African clade and the West African clade. Dr Emily Leproust, CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience, reported that the “expanding portfolio of synthetic controls” would “empower our customers…to improve global health”. She stated that Twist would continue responding to emerging public health concerns with research tools.
Twist is based in San Francisco and delivers a range of research tools and NGS facilities, as well as the “Twist Pan-Viral Panel, which contains over 600,000 probes for the targeted enrichment of over 1,000 viral human pathogens”. These include, but are not limited to, pathogens causing monkeypox and Zika virus.
Monkeypox was declared a public health emergency of international concern by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in July 2022. At that time over 18,000 cases from 78 countries had been reported to the WHO.