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This New Testing Kit Can Detect Any COVID-19 Variant in Minutes

While there are a number of different variants of Coronavirus all over the world, the latest wave of infections is fueled primarily by the Omicron variant that was identified in South Africa in November last year.

Although the presence of Coronavirus can be detected either with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at a hospital or rapid antigen (RA) test at home, the exact lineage of the virus can only be determined through genomic sequencing carried out at a laboratory.

However, this is about to change as researchers at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (RNJMS) have developed a COVID-19 testing kit that can detect the lineage of the Coronavirus strain within minutes.

The testing kit uses probes which are radioactively labeled short DNA fragments used for the detection of specific strands of DNA. These probes glow in different colors based on the variant of Coronavirus they get attached to.

Speaking in this regard, Dr. David Alland, Director of Public Health Research Institute at RNNJMS, said that the new testing kit has been evaluated in a small-scale clinical study. It detected all Coronavirus variants of concern designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) with a 100% success.

Dr. Alland revealed that RNJMS is now planning to file an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) request for the testing kit at the New Jersey Health Department to use it at a large scale within the state, adding that the EUA for the testing kit from the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) will be sought in the next phase.

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Published by
Haroon Hayder