UK Researchers Unearth Low-Cost Covid-19 Detection Test for Home Use Up to Six People
Bengaluru, NFAPost: Covid-19 can now be identified in just 30 minutes with a low-cost (£100) hand-held hardware and individual swab-sample kits costing just $5 per head. This feat is possible thanks to a new type of test derived from the viral-spread test of Chickens used in the Philippines.
UK Researchers Create Molecular-Diagnostic Test for Covid-19 Detection
UK researchers from Brunel University London, Lancaster University and the University of Surrey have developed and adopted this test for use with Covid-19 detection in humans. The test is, however, not yet approved by local health-regulatory bodies like the FDA for its commercial use and mass production.
On the brighter side, the researchers sound confident about its efficacy in Covid-19 detection in humans as well as making it available in a few weeks.
The test kit is battery-powered and it does not require a sophisticated lab for processing the samples. It displays the diagnostic results via a smartphone app, using any raw samples of nasal or throat swabs.
The existing on-site test methods employ kits and machines from Mesa Biotech and Cepheid. Although these test methods are approved, their installation costs run high as they require separate table-top micro-labs that are mostly seen in dedicated healthcare centres.
Low-Cost Covid-19 Test – Widespread Accessibility and Deployment
The UK researchers, however, have devised a low-cost testing method that supports up to six people in one go. It has the added advantage of widespread accessibility and deployment in diversified environments including clinics, hospitals, workplaces, and homes.
The leading rapid-results tests currently used in Europe and China employ serological methods that involve the presence of antibodies. In contrast, the UK researchers are employing molecular-diagnostic methods that can identify the viral DNA even in the absence of antibodies.
Consequently, the molecular diagnostic methods can be used for Covid-19 detection in asymptomatic cases that are home-quarantined. In other words, it offers invaluable data to track all the missing links of the community-based transmission of the novel coronavirus.