Coronavirus: Oxford scientists develop a 5-minute Covid-19 antigen test

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 17, 2020

The method works directly on throat swabs from COVID-19 patients without the need for genome extraction, purification or amplification of the viruses.

The researches say that the device is able to detect the coronavirus and distinguish it from other viruses with high accuracy. A microscope is then used to collect images of the sample, each image containing hundreds of fluorescently labeled viruses. The software quickly and automatically identifies the virus present in the sample by analyzing labels which produce distinct patterns in various types of pathogens.

The scientists worked with clinical staff at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford to validate the assay on COVID-19 patient samples that were confirmed using conventional RT-PCR methods.

"Unlike other technologies that detect a delayed antibody response or that require expensive, tedious and time-consuming sample preparation, our method quickly detects intact virus particles - meaning the assay is simple, extremely rapid, and cost-effective", he said in a statement. This means that the assay is simple, extremely quick and affordable.

Nicolas Shiaelis, from the University of Oxford, said: "Our test is much faster than other existing diagnostic technologies; viral diagnosis in less than 5 minutes can make mass testing a reality, providing a proactive means to control viral outbreaks".

"A significant concern for the upcoming winter months is the unpredictable effects of co-circulation of SARS-CoV-2 with other seasonal respiratory viruses", said Dr Nicole Robb, of Warwick Medical School.

"We have shown that our assay (test) can reliably distinguish between different viruses in clinical samples, a development that offers a crucial advantage in the next phase of the pandemic".

The researchers hope that the test can be used at public places, especially airports, music venues, and office spaces.

As the race to develop the Coronavirus vaccine rages on across the world, Scientists from Britain's University of Oxford have developed a rapid Covid-19 test able to identify the coronavirus in less than five minutes.

Researchers said they plan to begin development for the testing device early next year and have it widely available a few months later. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information.

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