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Rospotrebnadzor has developed a quick test to identify the Omicron strain

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The Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor has developed a test that allows you to quickly find out which strain of SARS-CoV-2 a patient is infected with. For six mutations, the system will distinguish Omicron from Delta and will give the result a maximum of five hours after receiving the sample.

The development of scientists is a set of reagents for the determination of individual mutations of the S-protein variants “Omicron” and “Delta” by real-time PCR.

Depending on which pathogen mutation is found in the sample, it is concluded that the patient has contracted the Omicron or Delta strain.

“The main advantage of our development is the speed and ability to use it in any laboratory working with PCR. It takes no more than five hours from the moment the samples are received at the clinical laboratory until the response is received. An alternative to our test – the sequencing process – takes from 30 to 60 hours and requires special equipment, consumables and specially trained employees, ”said Anna Cherkashina, head of the research group for genetic engineering and biotechnology at the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology.

The set of the new test includes two mutations characteristic of the Delta genovariant and four for Omicron. Such a large number of targets (areas that need to be determined. – Ed.) Are necessary to improve the screening accuracy of these dangerous strains, experts explained.

With the help of the new development, more than 600 clinical samples have already been tested. They managed to be divided into Delta and Omicron variants with high accuracy. In the process of testing the method, its accuracy was more than 99% – this result was confirmed by checking the results of PCR tests using sequencing.

In the near future, the methodology, protocol and the necessary reagents for such studies are planned to be transferred to the regional scientific organizations of Rospotrebnadzor, the department told Izvestia.

Details – in the material “Izvestia”:

“Mutations apart: PCR tests have learned to distinguish” Omicron “from” Delta “

Source: IZ

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