Toronto, May 22 (IANS) A team of researchers has validated a faster, cheaper Covid-19 test that could kickstart the expansion of more widespread rapid testing.
The study suggests that the microchip real-time PCR test can provide accurate results in 30 minutes and requires 10 times less reagents than the tube-based RT-PCR tests approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“This research offers a cheaper, faster alternative to the most reliable and sensitive test currently used worldwide, without sacrificing sensitivity and reproducibility,” said researcher Peter Unrau from the Simon Fraser University.
The researchers suggest the test could be deployed in remote locations, clinics and airports due to its ease of use and portability.
For the study, published in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, the research team first evaluated test sensitivity in the lab.
Then the test kit was sent to a clinical team at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to determine its ability to detect Covid-19 in patient samples.
The microchip PCR Covid-19 test kit results aligned with hospital testing results — demonstrating its effectiveness.
The kit comes preloaded with Covid-19 primers and probes making it easy to use, reducing the potential for user error and improving the reliability of test results.
The detection kits developed by Lumex Instruments Canada and validated by Unrau’s team are low power (100 watts), compact, lightweight and available internationally.