Specialists of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection) have developed a test system for detecting the RNA of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in any human biomaterials, TASS reports.
It is noted that the instructions for the reagent kit indicate that it is designed to determine the number of viral particles in sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage, blood plasma, faeces, rectal smears, and autopsy material, whereas a conventional test detects them only in smears from the nasal mucosa and oropharynx.
In addition, the test allows determining the amount of the virus, for example, in concentrates of water samples or flushes from objects. According to the Deputy Director for Scientific Work of the Institute, Alexander Gorelov, the test system is one of the first in the world that works using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and is primarily intended for the detection of asymptomatic and low-symptomatic infected in the foci of the spread of the coronavirus.
“The Achilles heel of the pandemic is just people with subtle symptoms who, without knowing it, become contagious to others. Therefore, it is very important to determine the number of viral particles in biomaterials: this way we will be able to detect the disease at an early stage,” Gorelov explained.
He also stated that the new test system can be used for additional analysis in case of questionable results of the primary test. As the scientists said, the test result can be obtained within six hours and the system will also allow determining at what stage the disease is.