New Rapid Test Developed to Diagnose Coronavirus in 20 Minutes

Researchers from The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Australia) develop a new rapid test

Researchers at The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Australia) have developed a new rapid test that can diagnose Covid in just 20 minutes.

The findings, published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, show that the rapid molecular test, called N1-STOP-LAMP, is 100 percent accurate in diagnosing samples containing SARS-CoV-2 at high loads.

Accurate and easy to use test

The test is very accurate and easy to use, making it a prime candidate for use in environments with limited testing capabilities.

The method involves the use of a small portable machine, which can reliably detect SARS-CoV-2 with only a nasal swab.

«We have developed an alternative molecular test of Covid-19 that can be easily deployed in environments where access to standard laboratory tests is limited or where ultra-fast response times are required for results,» explains lead researcher Tim Stinear.

In a single step

This new test uses a single tube and is performed in one step, making it more efficient and less costly than many of the current tests for SARS-CoV-2.

The N1-STOP-LAMP method was found to be 100 percent accurate and correctly identified 87 percent of the tests as positive when used to evaluate 157 confirmed positive samples. The results were rapid, with an average positive result time of 14 minutes for 93 of these clinical samples.

«We see that this type of technology has advantages in environments such as elderly care facilities or overseas laboratories with limited resources and equipment. The test requires a small machine the size of a shoebox, as well as reagents, but everything is portable,» the author notes.

«STOP-LAMP is what is known as a ‘close care’ test, not intended to replace the current standard PCR test. It is a robust diagnostic test for the specific and rapid detection of Covid-19.

It is important to note, however, that it exchanges some detection sensitivity for speed and ease of use,» they conclude.