APR 01, 2020 6:01 AM PDT

One dollar kit diagnoses COVID-19 in 10 minutes

WRITTEN BY: Tara Fernandez

 

Researchers have begun efficacy testing for a new SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic kit that claims to be able to test for COVID-19 infection in just 10 minutes. In the absence of approved COVID-19 vaccines or antiviral therapies, a cost-effective and widely-available diagnostic kit is the best bet for flattening the curve, particularly in cities about to be hit hard by the ongoing pandemic.

Once the diagnostics are found to meet stringent regulatory standards, the kit’s creators plan to mass-produce the tests in Senegal and United Kingdom. They are projected to be available for distribution in Africa as early as June.

The test’s developers will sell the kits at the cost price of just $1, a feat made possible with funding support from both the UK government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Slowing the spread of the contagion by allowing public healthcare systems to test populations for COVID-19 quickly and accurately has been among the most pressing priorities for many cities in the throes of a pandemic. Rural communities lacking access to specialized diagnostic laboratories will face even bigger challenges should an outbreak occur in their area.

 

 

The newly developed coronavirus test aims to address this issue by allowing an individual to test for the virus with either a saliva sample or finger prick, all from the comfort of home. The saliva swab method is appropriate for those suspected of having an active infection and works by detecting the presence of viral particles. The blood test would help post-symptomatic individuals to confirm their COVID-19 infection and reduce the risk to their families by checking for circulating antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

Experts warn that a surge in cases could completely overwhelm health systems in developing countries, a situation that will only be exacerbated by sanitation issues and food supply shortages. The hope is that developments in diagnostic technology such as this will help abate potential outbreaks across the globe and provide a durable solution for what is shaping up to be a long-term problem.

 


Source: Al Jazeera.

About the Author
  • Tara Fernandez has a PhD in Cell Biology and has spent over a decade uncovering the molecular basis of diseases ranging from skin cancer to obesity and diabetes. She currently works on developing and marketing disruptive new technologies in the biotechnology industry. Her areas of interest include innovation in molecular diagnostics, cell therapies, and immunology. She actively participates in various science communication and public engagement initiatives to promote STEM in the community.
You May Also Like
AUG 07, 2020
Cancer
Immune-Related Genes as Prognostic Biomarkers
AUG 07, 2020
Immune-Related Genes as Prognostic Biomarkers
Cancer is one of the most persistent and hardy diseases. Cancers often develop the ability to suppress the immune system ...
AUG 18, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
DIY COVID Tests Instead of Vaccines?
AUG 18, 2020
DIY COVID Tests Instead of Vaccines?
Routine, do-it-yourself COVID-19 testing could be just as good as a vaccine when it comes to stopping the transmission o ...
SEP 10, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Microscope to Diagnose River Blindness Is a Winner
SEP 10, 2020
Microscope to Diagnose River Blindness Is a Winner
  A team of innovators from Stanford University has invented the Onchoscope: a low-cost, customizable microscope fo ...
SEP 07, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
With Nanopores, Small Samples Detect Diseases
SEP 07, 2020
With Nanopores, Small Samples Detect Diseases
If you've ever been through a battery of tests while doctors try to find a diagnosis for an ailment, you know that many ...
NOV 07, 2020
Neuroscience
Device Measures Stress Hormones with Earwax
NOV 07, 2020
Device Measures Stress Hormones with Earwax
Researchers from University College London and King’s College London in the UK have developed a device that can me ...
NOV 16, 2020
Microbiology
Using the Microbiome to Diagnose or Treat Autism
NOV 16, 2020
Using the Microbiome to Diagnose or Treat Autism
Autism is a complex disorder that has sent researchers searching for what is causing it, as the rates continue to rise. ...
Loading Comments...