Rapid, at-home prototype saliva test that’s as good as RT-PCR

The SLIDE device analyzes droplets and can help make testing for COVID-19 quick and easy. Credit: Weihua Guan

Home testing for COVID-19 has become an easy way to diagnose yourself. But current tests have flaws, such as how long it takes to get a response, or how accurately it can detect a positive event. And most of them require the wrong way to stick to a person’s nose. Now, researchers are reporting a ACS Sensors have developed a SARS-CoV-2 blood test and prototype device that combine speed and simplicity with high sensitivity.

The two main options for home testing for COVID-19 today are rapid antigen tests and those based on reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). A rapid antigen test provides direct results to the user in about 15 minutes, but it is not very sensitive and can give a false signal, meaning someone can unknowingly infect others. Although RT-PCR is known for its “correct” value because of its great intelligence and specific to SARS-CoV-2, requires the sample to be sent to a laboratory and analyzed by qualified personnel. The test itself can take up to an hour, but the total time from swab to response can take days. Additionally, both methods require the unpleasant process of swabbing the back of your nose.

Non-invasive tests exist, but they also rely on the slow and sophisticated RT-PCR process. This type of method called reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) can also detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA at the same level of isolation and sensitivity as RT-PCR, but it is faster, cheaper and easier to use . Therefore, Weihua Guan and colleagues wanted to see if they could use RT-LAMP to create a fast and sensitive COVID-19. try this only requires a today’s product; a palm-sized, portable device; and smartphone.

The researchers combined several steps in one small machine, which they call self-examination of SARS-CoV-2 with RT-LAMP in a mobile device (SLIDE). Its five separate devices handle all the steps required for RT-LAMP: heating the sample, mixing it with RT-LAMP reagents, performing the reaction, detecting the amount of viral RNA and speed and delivery of the results to the mobile phone. To use SLIDE, a person simply spits into a vial on a card inserted into the device, and results are sent to a mobile phone within 45 minutes. In laboratory tests, SLIDE successfully detects and evaluated a mock sample loaded with latently infected SARS-CoV-2 virus, and a real saliva sample from someone known to be positive for COVID-19. In both cases, the results were consistent with those of RT-PCR, which suggests that the SLIDE device can be a quick, easy and sensitive way to determine whether someone has COVID-19, said the researchers.

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Additional information:
SLIDE: Saliva-based self-test for SARS-CoV-2 with RT-LAMP in a Mobile Device, ACS Sensors (2022).

Its availability
American Chemical Society

hintRapid, at-home test as good as RT-PCR (2022, August 3) Retrieved August 3, 2022 from -prototype-saliva – better.html

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