Rapid, Sensitive Test for COVID-19 Developed

  • Author: ChemistryViews.org
  • Published: 22 March 2020
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: University of Oxford, UK
thumbnail image: Rapid, Sensitive Test for COVID-19 Developed

Zhanfeng Cui, Wei Huang, and colleagues, University of Oxford, UK, and Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR), Suzhou, China, have developed an improved testing technology for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes the current outbreak of COVID-19. The test is three times faster than currently used viral RNA tests and more sensitive.

The new method is based on a viral detection that can specifically recognize SARS-CoV-2 RNA and RNA fragments. It has built-in checks to prevent false positives or negatives. The test was validated with clinical samples from a Chinese hospital: The rapid detection kits were used on eight positive and eight negative samples, and the results have been confirmed by conventional reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) methods.

The new test takes only half an hour, compared to 1.5–2 hours for previous methods. Its high sensitivity could allow the detection of COVID-19 in earlier stages. The team is working on developing an integrated device for the test that could be used in the field or even at home.

Also of Interest


  • LitCovid
    Curated literature hub for tracking up-to-date scientific information about COVID-19
  • Many publishers and other entities have signed a joint statement to ensure that COVID-19 research findings and data are shared rapidly and openly



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