Scientists have achieved great success in order to stop the speed of the new variant of the corona, which is spreading rapidly around the world, Omicron. Scientists in South Korea have developed a technique that will test the Omicron infection in just 20 to 30 minutes. At present, this variant is not detectable by PCR test and its identification is resorted to by genome sequencing, which takes several hours.
A new molecular diagnostic technology is developed by Korean researchers. This technology has been developed by a research team led by Professor Lee Jung-Wook. It is not being used commercially yet, but it is expected to be approved for use by next year. The special thing is that with this technique the results of the test will be available online.
Omicron variants have 26 to 32 mutations in the spike protein, but these are difficult to detect with a PCR test. This is the reason that the delta variant is identified by PCR test, but the Omicron cannot be detected.
At present technology of PCR testing emphasis only a specific virus portion. According to Professor Lee, in the PCR test, Omicron gives a strong signal towards the N gene but gives a weak signal to the S gene. In such a situation, the PCR test indicates infection in both the N and S genes of the patient. This makes it difficult to identify omicron infections.
Different from the existing three methods:
So far, three methods have been adopted by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to test for corona infection. These include genome sequencing, target DNA analysis and PCR testing.
Unlike Genome Sequencing:
Under genome sequencing, DNA or RNA is read, but this is not done in new technology. The speciality of molecular diagnostic technology is that nucleic acid-based reaction is seen only when the RNA of Kovid-19 is present. This takes less time to test.
The new technology will be more effective:
With the PCR test, we can test for infection in 96 samples at a time, but with the new technology, more than 125 samples can be tested in 30 minutes. That is, 250 samples can be tested per hour. This test does not require a special kind of complicated equipment, which makes it easy to test. With the help of new technology, the test kit can be prepared in just four hours. This will make it easier to test against other new variants of Corona in the future.
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