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Current Testing Technologies Can Detect The Omicron Variant

2021/11/30 16:49:34 Views:159

Original from: Medtech Insight

Currently available polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests can detect the emerging Omicron variant of the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization. 

“The widely-used PCR tests continue to detect infection, including infection with Omicron, as we have seen with other variants,” the World Health Organization said in a statement. ”Studies are ongoing to determine whether there is any impact on other types of tests, including rapid antigen detection tests.” 

In fact, in its classification of the variant, the WHO clarified that the “S gene dropout,” which is where PCR may tests fail to identify one of the three target genes, can be used to identify the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 before target gene analysis can be adapted for the new variant. 

Thermo Fisher is one of the first PCR test manufacturers to assert that its COVID-19 test can detect the new variant. In a release from 29 November, the company states that its “TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Kit, and TaqPath COVID-19 CE-IVD RT-PCR Kit, which test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, are not impacted by the emerging B.1.1.529, or Omicron variant, enabling accurate test results”

Researchers have not reached a consensus on the ability of lateral flow tests – which are less accurate than PCR tests but return a result much faster – to detect the Omicron variant. These tests can detect the Alpha and Delta variants, but further testing is needed to understand how well lateral flow tests will work with the new variant.

Source: Current Testing Technologies Can Detect The Omicron Variant