Work launched on LAMP molecular test to diagnose Covid-19 infections
Work on a rapid molecular test known as LAMP that will diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection is being developed in Poland.
As part of a cooperation between Łukasiewicz - PORT (Polish Center for Technology Development) in Wrocław and biotech company Novazym, researchers will also be able to produce antibodies for rapid serological tests for virus antigen.
In a joint press release, the companies said: “Partners have started working on developing Poland's first LAMP molecular test that allows them to detect RNA of the virus in the collected material. They will also prepare rapid serological tests for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Thanks to the close cooperation of Łukasiewicz - PORT scientists with Novazym, a company that offers a wide range of different types of tests, including several dozen tests based on the LAMP method, there is a chance for a quick introduction of new kits to the market.”
The rapid LAMP molecular test is an excellent alternative to the commonly used and WHO-recommended Real-time PCR tests. It gets results faster (the reaction result appears after 15-30 minutes instead of 1-1.5 hours) and cheaper than in the case of Real-time PCR. It has similar or higher sensitivity and specificity. In practice, this means the possibility of increasing the number of tests with shorter waiting times and lower testing costs.
Adam Burzyński, CEO of Novazym Polska, the company that introduced the technique to Poland, said: “LAMP is an innovative and rapidly developing method of nucleic acid amplification. It works perfectly in situations where we are dealing with limited hardware resources and require very fast diagnostic results. While maintaining molecular sensitivity, we can reduce the necessary equipment to a minimum: the testing device itself is the size of a large calculator, and the test can be done virtually anywhere: at the patient's bed, in a mobile diagnostic station or a hospital laboratory.”
Work on the new LAMP molecular test is advanced, and the test is expected to be ready in the fall. In turn, rapid smear tests for viral antigens are expected to be developed by the end of the year.
As part of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, more than 6,000 samples provided by the Provincial Sanitary and Epidemiological Station have been tested in the Łukasiewicz-PORT laboratories since April.
Author: Roman Skiba
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