New Covid-19 testing method developed by Sweden is cheaper, faster and accurate

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A method for quick, low-cost, but accurate testing for COVID-19 an infection has been developed by a workforce of researchers. The method simplifies and frees the testing from costly response steps, enabling upscaling of the diagnostics.

This makes the method significantly enticing for locations and conditions with restricted sources. It is equally attention-grabbing for repeated testing and for shifting sources from costly diagnostics to different components of the care chain. The research led by researchers on the Karolinska Institutet was revealed within the journal Nature Communications.

“We started working on the issue of developing a readily available testing method as soon as we saw the developments in Asia and southern Europe, and before the situation reached crisis point in Sweden,” says principal investigator Bjorn Reinius, analysis chief on the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics at Karolinska Institutet. “Our method was effectively finished already by the end of April, and we then made all the data freely available online.”

The unfold of the brand new coronavirus on the finish of 2019 in China’s Wuhan area shortly escalated into a world pandemic. The comparatively excessive transmission charge and a lot of asymptomatic infections led to an enormous, worldwide want for quick, inexpensive, and efficient diagnostic exams that might be carried out in medical in addition to non-clinical settings.

Established diagnostic exams for COVID-19 are primarily based on the detection of viral RNA in affected person samples, similar to nasal and throat swabs, from which RNA molecules should then be extracted and purified. RNA purification constitutes a significant bottleneck for the testing course of, requiring quite a lot of tools and logistics in addition to costly chemical compounds.

Making the present strategies easier with out markedly compromising their accuracy signifies that extra and faster testing will be carried out, which might assist to scale back the speed of transmission and facilitate earlier-stage care.

The cross-departmental analysis group at Karolinska Institutet has now developed strategies that fully circumvent the RNA-extraction process so that when the affected person pattern has been inactivated by technique of heating, rendering the virus particles not infectious, it could actually move straight to the diagnostic response that detects the presence of the virus.

According to the researchers, a very powerful keys to the method’s success are each the above virus inactivation process and a brand new formulation of the answer used to gather and transport the pattern materials taken from the sufferers.

“By replacing the collection buffer with simple and inexpensive buffer formulations, we can enable viral detection with high sensitivity directly from the original clinical sample, without any intermediate steps,” says Dr Reinius.

Institutions and analysis teams world wide have proven nice curiosity within the method since a primary model of the scientific article was revealed on the preprint server medRxiv. The article was learn greater than 15,000 occasions even earlier than it was peer-reviewed by different researchers within the subject and formally revealed in Nature Communications.

“Thanks to the low cost and the simplicity of the method, it becomes a particularly attractive option at sites and in situations with limited resources but a pressing need to test for COVID-19,” he says and provides: “I would certainly like to see that this test used in Sweden too, for example for cheap periodic testing of asymptomatic people to eliminate the spread of infection.”

(This story has been revealed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content. Only the headline has been modified.)

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