Labcorp Wednesday announced it will begin testing for monkeypox using the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) orthopoxvirus test, which detects all non-smallpox related orthopoxviruses, including monkeypox.
This effort is part of the Administration’s commitment to quickly increase monkeypox testing access and capacity in every community during the ongoing outbreak.
Labcorp is the first national laboratory to offer this polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which it verified for the CDC, and the first to launch a more automated assay option.
“Labcorp appreciates the opportunity to support the CDC in its efforts to keep the public safe and manage the monkeypox outbreak,” said Dr. Brian Caveney, chief medical officer and President of Labcorp Diagnostics. “We will initially perform all monkeypox testing in our main North Carolina lab and have the capacity to expand to other locations nationwide should the need arise.”
Labcorp will offer the testing at its largest laboratory in the United States and has the ability to accept specimens from its customers, as well as overflow from public laboratories, from across the U.S. using its significant transportation and logistics capabilities. Eventually, Labcorp will have the ability to increase capacity up to 10,000 tests per week, which will double the current capacity provided through CDC’s Laboratory Response Network (LRN). This development will facilitate increased testing by leveraging established relationships between Labcorp and the clinics, hospitals, and health care providers it serves. Labcorp will use electronic laboratory reporting (ELR) to report results to jurisdictions as outlined in the CDC reporting guidance.
The public will go to their health care provider for sample collection and to initiate the testing process; however, health care providers can order the orthopoxvirus test from Labcorp just as they normally would order other tests. This test is currently available on the Labcorp test menu.
CDC guidance is that anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should talk to their health care provider, even if they don’t think they had contact with someone who has monkeypox.