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UPDATE 1-Roche develops test kits to detect monkeypox virus

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(Adds details on tests, background)

May 25 (Reuters) - Roche on Wednesday said the company and its unit have developed three test kits to detect the monkeypox virus, as the disease spreads in regions outside Africa, where the virus is not normally found.

There have been more than 200 suspected or confirmed cases in Europe and North America of monkeypox, according to the World Health Organization. The Swiss company said one of the three LightMix Modular Virus kits detects orthopoxviruses, the biological grouping which includes viruses associated with monkeypox as well as smallpox and cowpox.

The second test detects only monkeypox viruses, specifically the West African and Central African strains. The third is for researchers and detects both orthopoxviruses and the monkeypox virus.

(Reporting by Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)