The role of rapid diagnostics in the mitigation of the Covid-19 pandemic

Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark, participating to the CORONADX project, have written a commentary on early, onsite and rapid detection of the SARS-CoV-2

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08 Sep 2021

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“Testing is one of the central measures to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic and prevent the potential outbreaks of the SARS-CoV-2 variants. The more viruses replicate, the more they mutate. The more they mutate, more dominant variants will appear, which could emerge and pose severe health and economic problems to our community”. This is the conclusion of a commentary by Anders Wolff and Trieu Nguyen, from the Department of Biotechnology & Biomedicine of the Technical University of Denmark, leading the EU-funded project CORONADX.

SARS-CoV-2 point-of-care (POC) testing, meaning that the test is performed at or near the patient and conducted by an untrained operator, is considered crucial to achieve rapid diagnostics, isolate clusters and eliminate the circulating of the virus.

In respect to the current standard diagnostic method, based on the real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-rPCR), the rapid POC antigen test has the advantage that the result can be provided in 15 minutes after the sample was taken.

“POC tests have the probability to tremendously improve healthcare in many ways, enabling not only rapid detection but also mitigation of the spreading of the disease, especially in remote areas”, they mention.

The time factor is critical, particularly for screening people in places, such as airports and can prevent the potential outbreaks of the SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Although POC antigen tests can feed the urgent market need and significantly improve healthcare, considerations related to their specificity and sensitivity, their cost and the need to obtain an emergency use authorisation are still hampering its commercialisation.

Read the full commentary here

 

Photo by Guido Hofmann on Unsplash

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08 Sep 2021

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