RT-LAMP in Biocev: developing faster and cheaper tests for Covid-19
There is an increasing demand for faster, quicker and cheaper screening and testing for SARS-CoV-2. Although members of the Yeast colony group usually use brewer’s yeast as their experimental organism, they wanted to make a contribution to the field of diagnostics to help with the COVID-19 crisis. Because these researchers have translatable molecular biology skills, they began developing and optimising a new RT-LAMP assay suitable for relatively rapid testing for SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal samples or even saliva samples.
“On one hand there is no need for RNA extraction; on the other, the samples used are dirty, meaning that a slightly lower sensitivity could be expected than with RT-PCR tests,” said the leader of the group, Zdena Palková. But even if this proves to be the case, the technique has a potentially wide field of usage in surveillance and screening testing.
The team is co-operating closely with the COVID testing centre in BIOCEV led by Ruth Tachezy in order to carry the method forward to routine testing.