Home Health Researchers develop fast, accurate, low-cost Covid-19 test

Researchers develop fast, accurate, low-cost Covid-19 test

Chinese researchers have developed a new low-cost diagnostic test for Covid-19 which quickly delivers accurate results without the need for sophisticated equipment.

“In this study, we developed an isothermal, CRISPR-based diagnostic for Covid-19 with near single-copy sensitivity,” the study authors from Xuzhou Medical University in China, wrote in a paper published in the journal PLOS Pathogens.

“We demonstrated a CRISPR-based assay for Covid-19 that offered shorter turn-around time and great diagnostic value, even in under-resourced settings without the need for thermal cyclers,” they added.

The surging demand for rapid screening and identification of Covid-19 poses great diagnostic challenges.

Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) and reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR) have been the most commonly used molecular methods for diagnosing Covid-19, but each has its own limitations.

For example, sequencing is costly and has a turnaround time of nearly one day, while RT-PCR requires specialized equipment and is difficult to deploy at a large scale.

According to the researchers, a lack of rapid and accurate molecular diagnostic tools has hampered efficient public health responses to the viral threat.

In the new study, the researchers developed an alternative Covid-19 test by leveraging CRISPR-based technology, which has been widely used in recent years for gene editing.

The assay, named CRISPR-COVID, enables high-throughput detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) – the virus that causes Covid-19.

CRISPR-COVID delivers comparable sensitivity and specificity as mNGS within as short as 40 minutes, the researchers said.

When produced at a large scale, the material cost of a CRISPR-COVID test could be less than 70 cents, suggesting that CRISPR-COVID is a competitive alternative not only technologically but also financially, the team noted.

Most Popular

SAI approves national coaching camp for table tennis in Sonepat

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has approved a national coaching camp for table tennis, which will be held from October 28 to December...

FB tells NYU to halt project that collects political ad data

Facebook has asked New York University to stop collecting data for a research project that aims to decipher political ad targeting on its platform. According...

IPL: CSK struggle to find the right combination

Chennai Super Kings have been struggling to find the perfect combination this season, team coach Stephen Fleming admitted after the Chennai franchise suffered their...

IPL: Our place in points table appropriate, says CSK coach Fleming

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) coach Stephen Fleming said that there is a lot of hurt, disappointment, and frustration within the camp after the three-time...
FMIM Ad