Over the course of only three months, a team of Vienna BioCenter scientists that participate in the VCDI efforts pushed SARS-CoV-2 detection to a new level. They now presented their approach in a preprint paper.
Around the World, the current method of choice for COVID-19 screening is based on real-time qPCR. While this is accurate and reliable, it requires expensive equipment and specialist staff - crucial drawbacks in low-resource environments.
A team of VCDI scientists from the labs of Andrea Pauli (IMP) and Julius Brennecke (IMBA) at the Vienna BioCenter, and collaborators, have now developed an alternative method that is cheap, fast, and easy to handle.
The assays 'bead-LAMP' and 'HomeDip-LAMP' were optimised to generate robust results with high sensitivity and could be game-changers. Requiring only a heating device and delivering read-outs as a simple colour change, the assays are ideal for routine population screenings in disadvantaged locations, such as developing countries.
The scientists reported their findings in a paper that was made available through the preprint server bioRxiv. You can find a more detailed news item on the website of the Vienna BioCenter:
Max. J. Kellner, et al. (2020): “Scalable, rapid and highly sensitive isothermal detection of SARS-CoV-2 for laboratory and home testing”. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.23.166397v1