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New Covid-19 Test Method Can Detect Quickly and Accurately

May. 20, 2021

The new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causes the 2019 coronavirus disease and is now raging around the world. Millions of people have undergone Covid-19 Rapid Test, and in most cases they use PCR-based kits. This sensitive method can amplify SARS-CoV-2 RNA from patient swabs so that very small amounts of the virus can be detected. However, with the rapid spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, this laboratory method is showing signs of being stretched.

Covid-19 Rapid Test

Covid-19 Rapid Test

Health experts agree that expanded testing is essential to control the spread of COVID-19. However, due to the limited supply of certain reagents and the large backlog of samples waiting for existing PCR machines and laboratory staff, testing in many countries, including the United States, has lagged. In addition, many false negative and false positive test results have been reported. Other methods such as CT scanning and cell culture cannot provide fast or real-time results. Wang and his colleagues hope to develop a faster and possibly more accurate Covid-19 Ag Rapid Test Device to detect SARS-CoV-2 virus, which may be a practical alternative to PCR.

The test method developed by these researchers is based on a technique called local surface plasmon resonance. This technology can detect the interaction between molecules on the surface of the constructed metal nanostructure in the form of local changes in refractive index. They created DNA probes that could identify specific SARS-CoV-2 RNA sequences and attached them to gold nanoparticles. When they added RNA fragments of the viral genome, the RNA fragments attached to the complementary DNA probes were closed like a zipper. They used a laser to heat gold nanoparticles, making it more difficult for incompletely matched RNA fragments to attach to the DNA probe, thereby reducing false positives. For example, nucleic acid "zippers" that have partial mismatches will be unlocked under these conditions. In this way, they can distinguish between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV that is related to it. This test method can detect less than the amount of viral RNA in a respiratory swab sample within a few minutes. They said that although there is still a need to test the complete viral RNA in patient samples, it may help ease the pressure of current PCR-based tests.

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