Mayo Clinic Laboratories Begin Monkeypox Testing to Help Increase Access, Availability

Mayo Clinic Laboratory will use the CDC's orthopoxvirus test and expects to handle up to 10 000 tests per week.

Mayo Clinic Laboratories on Monday became the second commercial laboratory in the US to start monkeypox testing as part of a national effort to increase testing capacity and access.

The laboratory will use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) orthopoxvirus test and expects to handle up to 10 000 tests per week, joining commercial laboratory Labcorp, which began monkeypox testing last week.

“The ability of commercial laboratories to test for monkeypox is an important pillar in our comprehensive strategy to combat this disease,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, said in an agency press release. “This will not only increase testing capacity but also make it more convenient for providers and patients to access tests by using existing provider-to-laboratory networks.”

Specimens from anywhere in the US will be accepted at the Mayo Clinic’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology in Rochester, Minnesota. Patients can access testing through clinicians who use Mayo Clinic Laboratories as their reference laboratory.

"Our teams have worked collaboratively with the CDC to validate this test to provide patients with accurate and timely answers," Mayo Clinic Laboratories President William Morice II, MD, PhD, said in a press release. "Access to testing is vital to combat infectious diseases to ensure patients are reducing the spread of the illness and receiving the treatments they need."

The CDC anticipates that additional commercial laboratories will come online shortly, allowing for monkeypox testing capacity to increase throughout July. In addition to increased testing, the CDC elevated its monkeypox alert to level 2 and activated its Emergency Operations Center in response to the outbreak.