New CDC report: Monkeypox tests in three patients yielded false-positive results

Federal health authorities warned in a report on Friday that a diagnostic test used to detect monkeypox in patients could lead to “false positive” test results and may require retesting, especially in suspected cases where the patient has low risk factors for infection.

The report involved a healthy pregnant woman, a previously healthy school-aged child and an infant.

All three patients were evaluated by healthcare providers after the onset of rashes and other symptoms and “initially received positive real-time PCR test results for Orthopoxvirus,” according to the Centers for Disease Control. and Prevention (CDC). But after more testing, all of the patients tested negative for monkeypox, and clinicians eventually diagnosed different conditions.

The CDC released its “Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report” on Friday, showing that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved Orthopoxvirus real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test triggered false-positive results. in three people who had characteristic symptoms, such as rashes and sores.

The CDC noted in the report that patients with false-positive results could receive unnecessary treatments for the disease that has spread globally and across Florida. One of the patients received treatment that would not have been necessary in relation to monkeypox.

Additionally, the CDC wrote in its report, “When testing samples from patients with atypical signs and symptoms or without epidemiological links or risk factors or when these are unknown, laboratories should re-extract and retest the samples. … to avoid unnecessary medical treatment and public health expenditure”. Resources.”

“The evaluation of these three patients for monkeypox highlights the need for caution in interpreting the results of a single laboratory test in patients with a low probability of infection prior to testing,” wrote the CDC in the report.

Meanwhile, monkeypox cases in Florida are nearing 2,000, with the most infections in South Florida, according to data from the Florida Department of Health. Overall, there had been 1,991 cases in 36 counties as of Friday afternoon. Miami-Dade County has seen 718 cases and Broward has reported 597.

Amanda J. Marsh