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20th February 2023  Product update: rapidmicrobiology staff writer

COVID-19 PCR Test Specifically Detects XBB.1.5 Omicron Sub-variant

Roche and its subsidiary TIB Molbiol have developed a COVID-19 PCR test for researchers that detects and differentiates the latest variant of concern, XBB.1.5. The XBB.1.5 variant is prevalent in the United States and is quickly spreading to other countries.

Being able to differentiate emerging variants and understand their similarities and mutations provides a basis for experts to make predictions about their spread and respond with appropriate treatment strategies. The test, VirSNiP SARS-CoV-2 Spike F486P, is for use on the LightCycler® 480 II and cobas® z 480.

XBB.1.5 is a sub-variant of a SARS-CoV-2 variant named XBB. That lineage is a recombinant of two descendants of the BA.2 lineage that began spiking in early 2022. BA.2 is also a sub-variant of Omicron. XBB’s spike protein is a group of mutations that boost the variant’s ability to evade antibodies.2 All Roche on-market COVID-19 tests are not impacted by this sub-variant.

The research-use-only test, VirSNiP SARS-CoV-2 Spike F486P, adds to the broad suite of COVID-19 test kits developed by Roche and TIB Molbiol. Roche and TIB Molbiol’s researchers continue to work in collaboration with partners globally to screen for new variants and emerging diseases.

About the VirSNiP SARS-CoV-2 Spike F486P
The VirSNiP SARS-CoV-2 Spike F486P test is for research use only and it specifically targets the unique mutation F486P found within the XBB.1.5 Omicron sub-variant. Typical clinical samples are throat and nasopharyngeal swabs, sputum, saliva or gargle solution.

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Date Published: 20th February 2023

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Note: This content has been edited by a rapidmicrobiology staff writer for style and content.

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