It is called CoVarScan and can detect COVID variants in positive subjects in four hours. The test comes from the United States and the results were presented in the journal Clinical chemistry The team explained that knowing the Covid variant in a short time would help to build the right therapy for the virus strain.
The analysis carried out by CoVarScan separates the virus fragments and highlights them with fluorescent colors (multiple frag fragment analis It is in fact that of molecular buffers: the polymerase chain reaction. The test has already managed to identify and differentiate the Delta, Mu, Lambda, Omicron and Omicron 2 variants. The samples used were taken from 3544 patients who tested positive for Covid.
CoVarScan to identify variants separates eight parts of the virus, usually different according to strains. It then detects small mutations in which the sequence of the blocks that make up the Rna varies and measures the length of the repetitive genetic regions. As the disease progresses, these tend to grow and shrink. The test guarantees 96 percent sensitivity and 99 percent specificity. This type of tool “requires constant adjustment for new variants,” explained Sorelle. But in the specific case, CoVarScan “has not needed any adjustment in more than a year, it is still working very well”.
Today, sequencing a virus takes 24-48 hours, with this tool, however, only four. But it will have high costs being a laboratory test. “Knowing quickly the spread of variants is useful if the numbers are important, as now; less if the numbers should go down. We also do not know what the cost of the device will be, so at the moment we can not assess whether the costs-benefits will be real”, said the president of the Association of Clinical Microbiologists Italy, Pierangelo Clerici, to Corriere della Sera.