JMM Editor’s Choice: validating a rapid test for SARS-CoV-2

Posted on October 5, 2020   by Microbiology Society

This month, Professor Arunaloke Chakrabarti discusses Validation of a single-step, single-tube reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay for rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA’ which was chosen as Editor’s Choice for the September issue of Journal of Medical Microbiology

During the COVID-19 pandemic this topic is contemporary. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is an upcoming technique for COVID-19 diagnosis, and the protocol described in this article skips the step of RNA extraction. This is a good modification from the usual COVID-19 diagnostic procedures.  
The test can be done directly from the sample and also in dry swab. Further, the test is rapid, and can be used in hospitals and community settings as a close to point-of-care test. Large numbers of samples can be tested simultaneously with good sensitivity. However, the procedure should be evaluated in multiple centers before being used in routine diagnosis. 

Validation of a single-step, single-tube reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay for rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA 

In this report we describe validation of a rapid 20-minute test for diagnosis of COVID-19. The test is based on loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) – a DNA amplification technology first described 20 years ago and widely used in many molecular diagnostic applications. The LAMP test is not as sensitive as the standard PCR methods that are the backbone of COVID-19 diagnostics, but LAMP trades detection sensitivity for speed, increased robustness and ease-of-use. We show that while LAMP is less sensitive than PCR, it retains sufficient performance to be a useful addition to the COVID-19 diagnostic toolkit and efforts to control the pandemic. 

Find out more about this article in the press release.  

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