Turkish scientists have developed a detection kit for the British, South African and Brazilian variants of the novel coronavirus.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Dr. Osman Doluca from the Izmir University of Economics said the university and local biotech company Genz Biotech decided to cooperate five months ago to develop the kit.
Doluca said that in the first experiment last month, the kit successfully detected the three variants.
Emphasizing the importance of determining the mutation of COVID-19 in treatment, Doluca said the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method is used to detect the virus, adding that while the test is being done, a small portion of the virus’ RNA is examined.
“By interpreting the PCR results with the software we developed, it is easily understood whether the sample taken from the patient is a South African or Brazilian variant, a UK variant or the first wild type variant,” he added.
He went on to say that during the pandemic, many biotechnology companies developed diagnostic kits.
“However, the most important advantage of the detection kit we prepared is that it minimizes the risk of giving false negative results.”
Since first being detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019, the virus has claimed over 3.2 million lives in 192 countries and regions, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University. More than 153 million cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries now nearly 90 million.