Innovative test allows Covid-19 screening without laboratory
Around the globe, the prevailing approach to diagnose acute SARS-CoV-2 infections is based on real-time qPCR. While the method is most accurate and reliable, it requires expensive equipment and specialist staff - crucial drawbacks in low-resource environments. Scientists from the labs of Andrea Pauli (IMP) and Julius Brennecke (IMBA) at the Vienna BioCenter and their collaborators have now developed a method that is cheap, fast, and easy to handle. The RT-LAMP (Loop-mediated isothermal amplification) assays are based on existing protocols which have been optimised to generate robust results with high sensitivity. Requiring only a heating device and delivering read-outs as a simple colour change, this method could be a game-changer for routine screenings in disadvantaged locations.
The photo shows Max Kellner, Julius Brennecke, Julian Ross, Andrea Pauli, and Jakob Schnabl (from left to right). Copyright: IMP