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Source: COVID-19 Test  Oct 05, 2020  3 years, 6 months, 1 week, 5 days, 16 hours, 15 minutes ago

BREAKING! COVID-19 Test: A New Rapid CRISPR-Based COVID-19 Mobile Phone Diagnostic Test To Debut Soon!

BREAKING! COVID-19 Test: A New Rapid CRISPR-Based COVID-19 Mobile Phone Diagnostic Test To Debut Soon!
Source: COVID-19 Test  Oct 05, 2020  3 years, 6 months, 1 week, 5 days, 16 hours, 15 minutes ago
COVID-19 Test: A large multidisciplinary group of researchers from University of California-San Francisco, J. David Gladstone Institutes-San Francisco, University of California-Berkeley, Monash University-Australia and  Chan Zuckerberg Biohub-San Francisco have developed an amplification-free CRISPR-based mobile phone assay for direct detection of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from nasal swabs.


 
The assay achieved ~100 copies/µL sensitivity in under 30 minutes and accurately detected a set of positive clinical samples in under 5 minutes.
 
This new mobile phone based diagnostic tool is not only rapid, portable and accurate but also cheap.
 
The product is expected to hit the market in not more than a couple of weeks pending U.S.FDA regulatory approvals.
 
The research findings are published on a preprint server and are pending peer review. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.28.20201947v1
 
The acute challenge of identifying symptomatic, asymptomatic, and presymptomatic carriers of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has been result their delayed isolation and massive global disease spread. Cheap but accurate and convenient COVID-19 testing tools are a critical in controlling the spread of the disease.
 
At present, the diagnostic gold standard is the quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), which is reliable and widely used for screening purposes. However, current data shows that the situation in the United States shows a significant backlog, with 31% of nasal swab-based PCR tests necessitating more than four days to process.
 
The problem is the same in many countries worldwide if not worse.
 
This critical factor alone, coupled with a potential quick waning of the immunity after natural infection, highlights the need for rapid, point-of-care testing options that can also reliably detect SARS-CoV-2 genetic material.
 
Hence, viral diagnostics may also benefit from a successful bacterial strategy to destroy incoming bacteriophages (i.e., viruses that attack bacteria) and build an immunological memory, which is known as CRISPR. The latter can be exploited for the successful and quick detection of SARS-CoV-2.
 
In order to achieve the high sensitivity needed for testing purposes, current CRISPR diagnostic strategies primarily rely on pre-amplification of target ribonucleic acid (RNA) for subsequent detection by a Cas protein.
 
In a breakthrough study, a large research group reported the proof of concept of a rapid CRISPR-Cas13a-based diagnostic assay for the direct detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
 
The research team first needed to optimize Cas13 activation through careful selection of CRISPR RNA complexes, as well as to develop a sensitive and transportable fluorescence detection system for this novel assay.
 
The easiness of the approach was demonstrated by measuring fluorescence with a mobile phone camera in a close-packed device, comprised of low-cost laser lightning and collection optics.
 
The study team has also combined complexes of CRISPR RNA and Cas13 (crRNAs) that target SARS-CoV-2 RNA to enhance the sensitivity and specificity of the proposed diagnostic solutions. They have also directly quantified viral load by utilizing enzyme kinetics.
 
A major feature of this approach is a successful demonstration of how these combinations of crRNAs can increase the sensitivity of Cas13a direct detection by including more Cas13a (which is a specific CRISPR-Cas13 subtype) per target RNA.