Monkeypox Virus: What the Lab Needs to Know


In May 2022, the Word Health Organization declared monkeypox virus (MPXV) a “public health emergency of international concern.” Prior to the 2022 global outbreak, monkeypox (MPX) was a relatively unknown viral illness associated with sporadic clusters in endemic countries and occasional travel-associated cases. In response to this emerging pathogen, clinical laboratories quickly responded by developing molecular assays for MPXV detection. However, any clinical assay is not without its limitations, and these must be taken into account to ensure appropriate reporting of results. In this lecture, we will start by exploring the basic virology of MPXV and exactly how it emerged on the global stage. The second half of this presentation is focused on the development and implementation of MPX assays. Focus is placed on studies examining how the testing process, including pre- and postanalytic factors, influence assay performance. The intended audience includes clinical laboratorians, technologists, and anyone with an interest of the role laboratories play in the diagnosis of infectious diseases.

Originally published on December 6, 2022

Lecture Presenter

Benjamin T. Bradley, MD, PhD

Benjamin T. Bradley, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor (Clinical)
University of Utah School of Medicine
Medical Director, Virology and Molecular Infectious Diseases, Medical Director, High Consequence Pathogen Response
ARUP Laboratories

Dr. Benjamin Bradley is a medical director of Virology and Molecular Infectious Disease at ARUP Laboratories, and an assistant professor (clinical) at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He received a medical degree and a doctorate degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at the University of Washington Medical Center as well as a fellowship in clinical microbiology at the University of Utah and ARUP Laboratories. Dr. Bradley is certified by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic and clinical pathology. He received the Jacob Ambrose Storck prize in 2017, the Stranjord-Clayton award and the Paul Stranjord Young Investigator award in 2020. His research interests include development and clinical implementation of viral diagnostics, direct-from-tissue detection of infectious organisms, and infectious disease pathology education.


After this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Describe basic virology and strain differences of monkeypox virus
  • Review the historical origins of monkeypox virus and the 2022 global outbreak
  • Summarize how lab testing processes, including the pre- and postanalytic phases, affect results for monkeypox diagnosis

Sponsored by:

University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, and ARUP Laboratories