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Swabs

To rapid test or not to rapid test for COVID-19

  As the pandemic has struck the predicted second wave, public struggles persist with lifestyle restrictions, but our knowledge to identify and fight the virus has significantly progressed.With tests developed, distributed and administered satisfactorily for most symptomatic sufferers (PCR), and the vaccine roll out for the most vulnerable, science and medicine turn to consider the silent carriers of SARS-CoV-2…the asymptomatic vectors. The case for rapid antigen testing using Lateral Flow At present testing...

Rhiannon de Wreede
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Six examples of COVID-19 mass testing events

From the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, testing for SARS-CoV-2 has been a priority. Initially just having a test for COVID-19 was a scientific success, enabled by the publication of the first viral genomic sequence in January 2020. As the pandemic has run its course many aspects of testing have been investigated. Here we highlight some of the key testing events that have taken place, and their outcomes. Mass Covid Testing -Vo’,...

Rhiannon de Wreede
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SARS-CoV-2 – The value of Ct values

What are Ct values?   In quantitative PCR (qPCR) and reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), the cycle threshold (Ct) value is the number of nucleic acid amplification cycles required for the signal generated by the amplification of a specific target DNA to cross a set threshold. Labelling the DNA primers with a fluorescent tag is what makes this PCR ‘real time’; as the target genetic material increases with each amplification cycle...

Rhiannon de Wreede
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Swabs and COVID-19 – A Guide

This article covers swab type and selection, transport products and medium enabling a smooth transfer of patient samples to the laboratory for analysis. Additionally, we discuss the implications of cycle thresholds and whether they should be assessed in patient prognosis.Swabs Swabs come in all shapes and sizes and some favourites have become well known in recent months:Nasal Swab: needs to be inserted at least 1cm into the naris (nostril), directed...

Rhiannon de Wreede
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The best sample type for SARS-CoV-2 virus rapid tests will surprise you!

Two types of tests for SARS-CoV-2 currently predominate. The first are molecular tests, based on PCR technology, that detect the presence of viral nucleic acid and therefore indicate a current infection. The second are serology tests that are designed to detect anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (usually IgG) generated by the immune systems of individuals who have been infected in the past.RT-PCR to detect SARS-CoV-2 virus is relatively slow and requires specialist laboratories....

James Steggles
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