Cheap and fast … an Omani team develops a test for “Corona”


How many copies of the corona genome can the test detect?

80 copies.

How long does the test take to get a result?

From 20 to 30 minutes.

An Omani research study developed a simple and sensitive test for rapid diagnosis of the emerging corona virus, conducted by a research team at Sultan Qaboos University, that gives direct results in less than half an hour.

The local newspaper, Al-Shabiba, reported on Tuesday that the test was based on Loop-mediated isothermal amplification.

The team designed “three Primers from the SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing isolated in Oman, targeting the Spike protein gene and the (M) gene.”

The “most sensitive and specialized subjects” were selected among the three designed groups and validated by testing 145 clinical samples from Corona patients with sensitivity of 96.9% and specificity of 94.7% compared to the validated (qRT-PCR) assay. According to the newspaper.

The supervisor of the team d said. Haitham Ali, Assistant Professor, Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences at Sultan Qaboos University: “We have developed a rapid and sensitive RT-LAMP test to diagnose Corona viral infection, as the developed color test is very sensitive and is able to detect up to 80 copies of Genomes with potential to improve test sensitivity in the future.

Ali explained: “We used the complete genome sequence of 41 isolates of SARS-CoV-2 from the Sultanate of Oman in this study, as the developed test was tested for specificity against SARS-CoV-Frankfurt-1 and other corona viruses that infect birds that were tested negatively with the developed test.” “.

He added, “The research team worked on studying the possibility of direct use of saliva samples mixed with (SARS-CoV-2RNA), which gave excellent initial results through the developed test.”

On the recommendations of the project, he said: “The test can be used as a rapid checker for Coronavirus in clinics, airports and border points, and the test can also be used in its current state as a simple and quick test, and the test result can be obtained directly by changing the color within (20-30 minutes), Plus, it is less expensive than qRT-PCR.

Regarding the readiness of the developed test, its use and application, the researcher stated that “we are still trying to improve the test to be ready for use directly by adding the sample to be examined without the need for complex devices or training special cadres to conduct the test before communicating with any party to implement it.”


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