US researchers develop new method for SARS-CoV-2 detection

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have developed a method for rapid and inexpensive SARS-CoV-2 detection without specialized materials or equipment, according to a new study published on Tuesday.


In this file photo taken on August 30, 2020 a member of the staff prepares a table at a restaurant in Manhattan in New York City. (Photo: AFP)

The method consists of viral inactivation, rendering samples safer to work with, followed by a sensitive 30-min isothermal detection reaction with a color-based red to yellow readout.

Sensitivity can be further improved using a simple and inexpensive purification protocol, according to the study published in the U.S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This method can help address the shortage of testing capacity and can be run in a variety of settings, said the researchers.

Months into the pandemic, the United States has recorded more than 6.31 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 189,400 deaths by Tuesday afternoon, according to a tally of Johns Hopkins University.