Spain Develop System To Detect Covid Strain in Less Than An Hour.
THE Virology laboratory of the Central University Hospital of Asturias (HUCA) has developed a pioneering system in Spain to distinguish the different strains of the coronavirus in less than an hour, as reported by SER.
With new strains of the coronavirus popping up all over the world and with the South African variant recently being detected in Spain, this new system has been developed by scientists to help early diagnosis in hospitals. It has already been extended to hospitals in regions such as Cangas de Narcea, Mieres and Valle del Nalón.
Santiago Melón, head of the laboratory, said: “We saw that to study any virus in-depth, the interesting thing is to do sequencing and to know its structure and composition. We noticed that these three specific variants had a common position that varied with respect to the strain that was circulating: position 501 of the spike of the protein that binds to the receptor.”
The team of researchers have essentially designed a PCR system “that discriminated the variant that had the 501 mutation from the usual strain.” Thus, in a matter of an hour, they could tell if it was one or another strain. “There are other indirect systems to determine these variants, specifically the British one, but this is a direct way to detect them,” added the expert.
They have about 2,000 samples analysed. “We have tried to apply this system to all the samples that test positive and in 90 per cent we know if they are British or not.”
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