SARS-CoV-2 virus detection tool based on CRISPR

Etxebeste Aduriz, Egoitz

Elhuyar Zientzia

SARS-CoV-2 virus. Ed. NIAID

The journal Nature Biotechnology has published a rapid diagnostic tool based on CRISPR for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This diagnostic tool yields a result close to 45 minutes, with a precision similar to the RT-PCR tests.

Identifies the RNA of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in samples taken from the respiratory tract of infected people. To do this, after converting the RNA of the virus into DNA, CRISPR-Cas12 identifies the gene sequences of the protein E of the virus and the protein N of the nucleoescapside, releasing a reporter molecule.

The system has been tested with samples from 36 patients with COVID-19 and 42 with other respiratory diseases. In the positive cases an accuracy of 95% was reached and in the negatives of 100%.

The RT-PCR test requires warm-up and cooling cycles so it takes hours. The test they now present, called DTECTR, is done at two fixed temperatures for 45 minutes.

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