Monkeypox Test Information

Labcorp is running the FDA-cleared, PCR-based monkeypox (orthopoxvirus) DNA assay developed by the CDC

Monkeypox (Orthopoxvirus), DNA, PCR

TEST: 140230
CPT: 87593

Use

Vesicular specimens collected from persons infected with a non-variola Orthopoxvirus (such as vaccinia, monkeypox, or cowpox) are expected to produce a positive result with this assay. Although this assay does not differentiate vaccinia or monkeypox virus from cowpox, camelpox, ectomelia or gerbilpox virus, a positive result with this assay in the United States is most likely due to monkeypox virus or vaccinia virus; however, potential exposure to other Orthopoxviruses should be considered.

Methodology

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

Full Test Details

Results

The monkeypox test is qualitative and will indicate a detected, not detected, equivocal or inconclusive result for the presence of DNA from non-variola orthopoxvirus species, of which monkeypox is one. Here is what these results indicate:

  • Detected: A non-variola orthopoxvirus was detected. In addition to monkeypox, there are several viral species in the genus orthopoxvirus. But since there are no current epidemiological concerns about those other viruses, a positive result is presumptive positive for monkeypox. Variola is the virus that causes smallpox. This test will not detect smallpox.
  • Not Detected: This means that an orthopoxvirus was not detected, and the patient is therefore negative for monkeypox.
  • Equivocal: This result can occur when the virus is detected at levels close to the limit of detection of the assay, and a definitive result cannot be determined. For any equivocal result, the CDC recommends that a new patient sample is collected and tested.
  • Inconclusive: This result can occur when the assay control criteria are not met and no virus is detected. The concern here is a poorly collected sample, and the CDC recommends that a new patient sample should be collected and tested.

Related tests suggested by the CDC

The appearance of monkeypox lesions may resemble those of STIs such as herpes or syphilis. For this reason, the CDC recommends comprehensive evaluations in patients presenting with genital or perianal ulcers for STIs. Patients co-infected with Monkeypox virus and other infectious agents (e.g., varicella zoster, herpes, syphilis) have been reported, and should therefore have monkeypox on their differential diagnosis when presented with an STI-associated or STI-like rash.

Furthermore, a recent study by the CDC showed amongst 1,969 persons with monkeypox in eight U.S. jurisdictions, 38% had HIV infection, and 41% had an STI in the preceding year. Therefore, screening for HIV and other STIs and other preventive care should also be considered for persons evaluated for monkeypox.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Provider FAQs

  • Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.

Testing: what to know

  • At this time, and per CDC guidelines, specimen collection must only be performed by a healthcare professional. Once collected, the specimen will then be sent to Labcorp for testing.  Labcorp does not collect this specimen type at patient service centers.

  • We are able to support the current demands of this test and are prepared to meet the needs of our clients and their patients should it increase in the near future. 

  • Order to result time is three to four days.

  • Patients results will be sent to their ordering healthcare providers and Labcorp Patient™ Portal.

  • Labcorp is running the CDC's test for detecting monkeypox. It has been FDA approved, and is based on highly sensitive PCR technology. False positives or false negatives are highly unlikely.

Patient FAQs

  • Per the CDC: “Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.”

  • Though monkeypox and COVID-19 are both caused by viruses, there are key differences between the diseases, how they are transmitted, their respective symptomology, prognosis, and treatment protocols. Please refer to the  about these diseases. 

  • Monkeypox and herpes may share symptoms like skin lesions, but only your healthcare provider can accurately diagnose and treat these infections. Labcorp currently offers lab tests for both monkeypox and herpes.

Testing: what to know

  • If you think that you’ve been exposed to monkeypox, or if you have possible symptoms such as skin lesions, please consult your healthcare provider about whether or not testing is appropriate.

  • At this time, and per CDC guidelines, specimen collection must be performed by a healthcare professional. Once collected, the specimen will then be sent to Labcorp for testing.  Labcorp does not collect this specimen type at patient service centers.

  • Order to result time is three to four days.

  • Your results can be obtained through your healthcare provider and .

  • Labcorp runs the CDC's test for detecting monkeypox. It has been FDA approved for diagnosing monkeypox, and is based in highly sensitive PCR technology.

  • If you suspect you have monkeypox, consider following CDC recommendations for preventing the spread of monkeypox. Consult your healthcare provider for any questions about treating symptoms at home.

I have monkeypox. Now what?

  • Your results will be sent to your ordering providers and your designated state health departments as may be required. Labcorp complies with all state and local reporting requirements.