UAB now offering in-house monkeypox testing

UAB patients who meet the criteria to be tested can talk to their physician about obtaining a test.

Monkeypox testing streamUAB patients who meet the criteria to be tested can talk to their physician about obtaining a test.The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Pathology’s Fungal Reference Laboratory is now offering in-house monkeypox polymerase chain reaction diagnostic testing for UAB Medicine patients who are eligible. The test, which was developed by UAB’s FRL under the direction of Associate Professor Sixto Leal, M.D., Ph.D., utilizes real-time quantitative PCR to detect all variants of the monkeypox virus, including the currently circulating West African clade with high sensitivity and specificity.  

UAB Medicine patients who meet the eligible criteria to be tested for monkeypox should talk to their physician about obtaining a test. Testing is not available without a referral.

Monkeypox does not spread easily from person to person. But close, intimate, skin-to-skin contact appears to be the primary mode of transmission in the current global outbreak. It is possible that contact with materials used by infected persons, such as clothing and linens, can be a way to contract the virus. The virus typically enters the body through broken skin, respiratory droplets or mucous membranes (eyes, nose or mouth).

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, respiratory symptoms including sore throat, nasal congestion or cough, and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals or anus. Anyone experiencing symptoms of monkeypox should talk to their health care provider prior to coming to clinic. At this time, UAB does not recommend patients come to the emergency department for testing.