New rapid COVID-19 detection method developed

Published: 2020-02-25


Researchers from Shenyang, Huazhong and SciLifeLab have developed a rapid colorimetric detection method for the COVID-19 coronavirus (iLACO). The approach is based on RT-LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) and allows a fast detection using a visual colorimetric assay (pink to yellow).

The approach can detect down to 10 molecules of virus RNA in 15 to 40 minutes times. The authors, including SciLifeLab Fellow Vicent Pelechano, expect that the simplicity of the approach will allow to speed up the detection of the virus, especially in areas with limited access to advanced molecular biology equipment.

This fast development was only possible thanks to the close collaboration between academia and industry in response to the virus outbreak.

“The optimization of this method would not have been possible in this short time if it was not for the effort and dedication of our Chinese colleagues. I’m happy to share our expertise in molecular biology to help fighting this outbreak” says Vicent Pelechano.

All information has been just released for scientific community evaluation in MedRxiv, and will now go through peer review.