China shortens nucleic acid testing for COVID-19 to 45 minutes

NANJING, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese researchers have developed a new nucleic acid test kit for COVID-19, which can confirm cases in 45 minutes on average, according to the Suzhou Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


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In addition to being fast, the test kit is also small in size and easy to carry, making it portable for on-site testing in real-time.

Using a special fluid, the test kit is able to directly lyse the pathogens in the samples and release the target nucleic acid, which means it can achieve the qualitative testing result without the nucleic acid extraction, purification and PCR amplification, a technique used to make numerous copies of a specific segment of DNA quickly and accurately.

The test kit, free from cold chain logistics, can be stored and transported at normal temperatures, according to the institute.

It has completed clinical trials on more than 600 samples with an accuracy rate of more than 99 percent and has been approved by the National Medical Products Administration for sale and clinical use, the institute said.