In this review, researchers assess current diagnostic methods for the detection of poxviruses, discuss their benefits and limitations and provide recommendations for a ‘fast and reliable’ diagnostic approach.
Although the most prominent poxvirus, Variola virus, was successfully eradicated in the last century, several other poxviruses cause zoonotic infections that, in the early stages, resemble Variola virus infections with varying pathogenicity in humans. Over recent decades, numerous diagnostic methods for the detection of poxviruses have been established. As a result of technical progress and the advancement in molecular techniques, only a small selection of these methods meet the demands of being rapid and reliable.
This review, conducted by researchers from the Robert Koch Institute (Berlin, Germany), briefly introduces human poxviruses, summarizes the methods available, discusses their pros and cons and provides recommendations for a ‘fast and reliable’ diagnostic approach.