A team of researchers has created a quick Covid-19 test that might be used to detect the many SARS-CoV-2 subtypes quickly. The researchers claimed that this test can correctly distinguish between all existing SARS-CoV-2 variants and is as accurate as previous methods for diagnosing Covid.
According to researcher Jeffrey SoRelle from the University of Texas Southwestern in the United States, “with this test, we may immediately ascertain what variants are in the population and whether a new variant is emerging.”
When dealing with variants that react differently to medicines, it also has ramifications for specific patients, SoRelle continued.
Journal Clinical chemistry
According to a study published in the journal Clinical Chemistry, CoVarScan exhibited 96% sensitivity and 99% specificity when compared to whole-genome sequencing.
It recognized and distinguished the Delta, Mu, Lambda, and Omicron variations of Covid-19, as well as the BA.2 Omicron strain, which was formerly referred to as “stealth Omicron” since it was not detected by some tests meant to identify the Omicron strain solely.
While there are alternative Covid-19 assays available, they typically only detect tiny compounds on the surface of the virus or a portion of the SARS-CoV-2 genetic material, making it impossible to distinguish the variant.
Many scientists are also concerned that these tests may not be reliable at detecting particular variants or may fail to catch emerging strains.
Whole-genome sequencing, which is time-consuming and expensive and relies on advanced tools and analysis to spell out the whole RNA sequence contained in the viruses, is often required to identify the form of Covid-19 a patient has.
Early in 2021, SoRelle and his team sought to monitor how well existing tests picked up new SARS-CoV-2 strains. However, they realized that sequencing many samples would not be efficient or quick, so they created their test.
According to a common criticism of this type of test, it must be adjusted frequently to account for new variants. However, CoVarScan has not required adjustment in more than a year and is still functioning very well, as reported by DNA India.