US scientists have Developed a low cost swab test that can diagnose Coronavirus infection in only 45minutes , An advance that may help health officials scrambling to cope with testing backlogs as the number of COVID19 cases continues to rise .
The test named as SARS CoV-2 DETECTOR is easy to interpret and implement and requires no specialised equipment as mentioned by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco in the US .
This quality is likely to make the test reported in a paper published in the Journal Nature Biotechnology more widely available current crop of Coronavirus test kits, they said .
Though the new COVID19 test has yet to receive formal approval for clinical use from the United States Food and Drug Administration , the Researchers are clinically validating the COVID19 test in an attempt to fast track the approval process .
So the availability and introduction of CRISPR technology will accelerate the deployment of the next generation of Coronavirus test to diagnose COVID19 infection , said Charles Chiu a professor at UCSF and co-lead developer of the new COVID19 test .
The new SARS CoV-2 DETECTOR assay is one of the first to use CRISPR gene targeting technology to test for the presence of novel COVID19 , the Researchers said .
Since CRISPR technology can be modified to target any kind of genetic sequence , the Researchers programmed the test to home in on two targets region in the genome of the novel COVID19 .
One of those sequence is same to all SARS like Coronavirus, while another is unique to SARS CoV-2 that causes COVID19 according to the Researchers .
Testing for the presence of both the sequences ensures that the new COVID19 detector tool can distinguish between closely related virus and SARS CoV-2, researchers said .
As similar to the diagnostic kits currently in use , the new test can detect the novel COVID19 in samples obtained from the respiratory swab , they said .
While the widely used test based on PCR techniques take nearly 4hours to produce the result from the respiratory sample , the new COVID19 detector can detect it in only 45minutes , researchers said .
Researchers noted that another plus point of the new Covid19 DETECTOR test is that it can be performed in any lab , using common equipments and off the shelf reagents .
It stands in contrast to Polymerase Chain Test reaction test which require specialised expensive equipment limiting those COVID19 test to to well equipped diagnostics lab, researchers said .
The new COVID19 DETECTOR test , researchers said , is so easy to interpret similar to a store bought pregnancy test direct lines present on test strips signify the presence of viral genes .
Researchers said this is very sensitive and can detect the presence of as few as 10 COVID19 viruses in a microlitre of a fluid taken from the suspected patient .