CoVarScan — A Covid rapid test that could identify variants in hours

CoVarScan — A Covid rapid test that could identify variants in hours

New York: A group of researchers have developed a rapid Covid-19 test that might help in identifying different variants of the SARS-CoV-2 in just hours.

The team reported that their test is as accurate as other methods used to diagnose Covid and can successfully differentiate between all current variants of SARS-CoV-2.

“Using this test, we can determine very quickly what variants are in the community and if a new variant is emerging,” said researcher Jeffrey SoRelle from the University of Texas Southwestern in the US.

“It also has implications for individual patients when we are dealing with variants that respond differently to treatments,” SoRelle added.

Compared to whole-genome sequencing, CoVarScan had 96 per cent sensitivity and 99 per cent specificity, the researchers said, in a study, published in the journal Clinical Chemistry.

It identified and differentiated Delta, Mu, Lambda, and Omicron variants of Covid-19, including the BA.2 version of Omicron, once known as “stealth Omicron” because it did not show up on some tests designed to detect only the Omicron strain.

To determine which variant of Covid-19 a patient has, scientists typically must use whole-genome sequencing, which is time-consuming and expensive, relying on sophisticated equipment and analysis to spell out the entire RNA sequence contained in the viruses, the team said. COVID19 rapid test identify variant COVID19 rapid test identify variant

It identified and differentiated Delta, Mu, Lambda, and Omicron variants of Covid-19, including the BA.2 version of Omicron, once known as “stealth Omicron” because it did not show up on some tests designed to detect only the Omicron strain.

Source: Agencies

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