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15th April 2020  Editorial by: Paul Carton

Canadian Plant Pathogen Stalwart Detection Instrument Adapted For Near-Patient COVID-19 RT-PCR Tests


The Canadian diagnostics manufacturing firm, Lumex Instruments has developed a Microchip RT-PCR COVID-19 detection system for use on its near-patient AriaDNA RT-PCR Analyzer.

The microchip, which is loaded with the CDC's recommended primers and probes in lyophilized form, uses five to 20 times fewer reagents than standard RT-PCR tests and can test 7 samples in 30 minutes on the AriaDNA Analyzer. The patented technology has been used for potato pathogen detection in recent times. 

The microchip can use samples from nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal swabs, sputum, lower respiratory tract aspirates, bronchoalveolar lavage, and nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate or nasal aspirate.

This kit is currently for research use only (RUO) and Lumex state they have applied for approval from Health Canada and plan to obtain CE-marking also. Canada now has only two kits approved for COVID-19 diagnosis, with hospital laboratories developing in-house kits, which don't need approval.  

The test has primer-probes for N1 and N2 regions within the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid gene (N),  with HsRPP30 as an internal control to detect human RNA in each patient sample, as well as in all control samples (negative template control, negative extraction control, and positive template control).

Lumex currently has over 40 of the AriaDNA analyzers presently in use; however, none of these is in the health care industry but used in plant and animal pathogens detection, foodborne pathogen detection, and GMO detection.

Lumex state they will be able to produce 48,000 tests a month. 


    

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Date Published: 15th April 2020

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