Korean scientists have developed molecular diagnostics technological innovation that can detect Omicron variants. The technological innovation advancement has been now finished, and it is expected to take time for commercialization.
POSTECH announced on the 10th that a research team led by Professor Lee Jung-wook of the Section of Chemical Engineering has produced molecular diagnostic know-how that can detect the Omicron variant in just 20-30 minutes and will publish the final results on the net.
Omicron is a variant in which 26-32 mutations in the spike, which is applied to infect cells by the COVID-19 virus.
In accordance to the study crew, molecular diagnostics engineering can distinguish mutations at the solitary-nucleotide base, so it can detect “Stealth Omicron,” which are difficult to be detected by PCR checks.
At this time, the Korea Centers for Ailment Manage and Prevention is employing three techniques to detect COVID-19 variants: whole-genome investigation, focus on DNA (mutations these kinds of as spike protein) evaluation, and PCR test.
In the scenario of the Delta variant, it can be detected by the current PCR test, but Omicron simply cannot. The freshly formulated technological innovation this time is not a sequencing system that reads DNA or RNA sequences, but the molecular diagnostic know-how.
The existing technology screens only certain regions of the virus, but the molecular diagnostic technological know-how was created to trigger nucleic acid-binding reactions only when the COVID-19 RNA exists, enabling swift detection.
According to Professor Lee, Omicron has a strong signal for N genes in PCR tests but has a weak sign for S genes. In the situation of “Stealth Omicron,” both of those N and S genes verified good, building it challenging to distinguish from other variants. The molecular diagnostic technologies will work in various mechanisms from PCR, detecting the Omicron variant efficiently.
As opposed to typical technological know-how that frequently processes up to 96 samples per machine, the new engineering can course of action a lot more than 125 in 30 minutes (extra than 250 samples per hour). In addition, this technologies does not require specialized gear, hence can make diagnostic kits just and quickly.
As the technique can develop the analysis package in 4 times, it is anticipated to reply promptly even if a new variant or virus happens in the long run.
“I hope the disclosure of this technologies will help us return to usual daily lifestyle as soon as probable,” explained Professor Lee. “We will consider to quickly diagnose and react to new variants that might arrive out just after COVID-19.”
This technological know-how is presently ahead of commercialization. On the other hand, it can be made use of as an auxiliary in latest circumstances in which the PCR examination for Omicron has not been developed.
Professor Lee stated, “I think this technological know-how will be close to commercialization in the 2nd 50 percent of following yr after medical trials. The reason why I disclose the know-how is to share it with others to establish much better technologies for beating COVID-19 and to allow underdeveloped international locations also evaluate COVID-19 variants.”
(Apart from for the headline, this tale has not been edited by NDTV employees and is released from a syndicated feed.)