Sunday, September 24, 2023
HomeHealth & MedicineNew COVID-19 Rapid Test Kit Receives Scientific Seal of Approval

New COVID-19 Rapid Test Kit Receives Scientific Seal of Approval

Scientists have validated a new, faster, RT-PCR-based diagnostic assay kit useful for widespread COVID-19 testing. The test results have been published in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

Simon Fraser University researchers have validated a faster, RT-PCR-based diagnostic assay kit useful for widespread COVID-19 testing. The test kit is approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the study results have been published in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics (Cojocaru et al. 2021).

“This research offers a cheaper, faster alternative to the most reliable and sensitive test currently used worldwide, without sacrificing sensitivity and reproducibility,” says molecular biology and biochemistry professor Peter Unrau, who led the team evaluating the COVID-19 test kit.

The development of rapid, sensitive, and cost-effective diagnostics for COVID-19 testing was essential for providing medical care to people infected with the virus and the containment of the virus from the spread.

But, most of the current available RT-PCR assays require expensive reagents in high volume. They have significant technical labor for preparing complex reagent mixtures, resulting in increased costs with possible human error.

This new COVID-19 test kit requires ten times fewer reagents than the tube-based RT-PCR tests and can provide accurate results in 30 minutes. The machine could be deployed in remote locations, clinics, and airports due to its ease of use and portability.

To validate, the researchers sent the kit to a clinical team at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. There the team used supplied reference samples and 21 clinical samples from patients in the hospital.

The validation team found that the newly developed microchip PCR COVID-19 test kit results were comparable with hospital testing results.

The team stated that the real-time microchip PCR provides a significantly lower resource alternative to the CDC–approved real-time RT-PCR assays with comparable sensitivity, showing 100% positive and negative predictive agreement of clinical samples.

Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, Coronavirus

The PCR system consists of a disposable microchip with 30 microreactors (6 columns × 5 rows) where each well can accommodate a miniature TaqMan chemistry-based reaction of 1.2 μL.

The protocol uses a single-plex assay based on one-step RT-qPCR reactions targeting the SARS-CoV-2–specific N gene.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China, the virus SARS-CoV-2 caused the disease, spread rapidly. As of May 22, 2021, while writing this report, over 166 million cases and 3,458,945 deaths (Worldometers 2021) have been reported worldwide, resulting in an enormous economic impact.

Because the numbers of infections and transmissions continue to increase, there is an urgent need for rapid and inexpensive diagnostic tests. The low-energy assay system (100 W) is available internationally. It’s cost-effective, compact, and lightweight.

Therefore, the system can be installed in a clinical diagnostic laboratory. The machine can also be used in remote locations such as airports, clinics, maintain similar comparable test results as observed with traditional RT-qPCR.

The detection kit, developed by Lumex Instruments Canada and validated by Unrau’s team, demonstrates a promising versatile technology.  It can be easily configured and mobilized to detect infections of current and future viruses, overcoming the current crisis and ensuring a rapid response in the future, the report stated.

Related Publication and Further Readings

Cojocaru, R., I. Yaseen, et al. (2021). “Microchip RT-PCR Detection of Nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 Samples.” J Mol Diagn 23(6): 683-690.

Worldometers. (2021). “Coronavirus cases and deaths.”

 

Recent Post

Earliest Animals

What Did the Earliest Animals Look Like?

0
Biologists have been searching for the earliest animals for more than a century, narrowing the possibilities down to two groups: sponges and comb jellies. Researchers...

MOST COMMENTED

fitness-vegan-exercise

For Weight Loss, Vegan Is Better Than the Mediterranean Diet

50
Vegan is more effective for weight loss, cholesterol control, body composition, and insulin sensitivity, when compared head to head with Mediterranean diet.

RECENT UPDATE

Air Pollution Increases the Risk of Chronic Diseases in Adults

A study involving almost 364,000 English citizens shows traffic-related air pollution raises the risk of several long-term physical and mental health disorders.

Early Life Experiences Can Have Long-Lasting Impact on Genes

A new study on fruit flies led by UCL scientists demonstrates that early life events can have a lasting effect on the activity of...

What Did the Earliest Animals Look Like?

Biologists have been searching for the earliest animals for more than a century, narrowing the possibilities down to two groups: sponges and comb jellies. Researchers...

Time-Restricted Eating Reshapes Gene Expression Throughout the Body

Timed caloric intake synchronizes circadian rhythms across several systems in mice by influencing numerous gene expressions, found researchers at Salk Institute Key Points: Time- restricted eating...

Study: Evolution is now acknowledged by the majority of Americans

Highlights: - According to a recent University of Michigan study, 54% of Americans now accept the theory of evolution as the most plausible explanation for...