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New diagnostic test detects and identifies SARS-CoV-2 virus in less than five minutes

October 16, 2020

Scientists from Oxford University’s Department of Physics have developed an extremely rapid diagnostic test that detects and identifies viruses in less than five minutes.

The method, published on the preprint server MedRxiv, is able to differentiate with high accuracy SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, from negative clinical samples, as well as from other common respiratory pathogens such as influenza and seasonal human coronaviruses.

Working directly on throat swabs from COVID-19 patients, without the need for genome extraction, purification or amplification of the viruses, the method starts with the rapid labeling of virus particles in the sample with short fluorescent DNA strands.

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