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21st June 2021  Product update: rapidvirology staff writer

CE-IVD Quantitative COVID-19 Mid-Plex PCR Assay with Mutation Detection


Bruker Corporation has announced the launch of the FluoroType SARS-CoV-2 varID Q assay – a quantitative LiquidArray® mid-plex PCR panel. This novel assay panel also detects several important mutations to enable laboratories and hospitals to differentiate many major viral variants routinely on all positive samples.

The very sensitive FluoroType SARS-CoV-2 varID Q diagnostic test detects the SARS-CoV-2 virus using three independent gene targets for high assay robustness, even in case of future additional mutations. The assay achieved a sensitivity of 98% and a specificity of 100% during its clinical performance evaluation study.

Moreover, the FluoroType SARS-CoV-2 varID Q assay now also offers quantification of the viral load in the sample in standardized International Units per milliliter (IU/ml), in accordance with WHO standards1. Quantitative PCR results may provide insights into whether the COVID patient is likely to be infectious, or whether she/he may already be in a later COVID stage with low viral loads.

Sensitive and robust detection, mutation differentiation, and quantification of viral load are all done simultaneously in a single PCR tube and a single assay run. This permits efficient laboratory workflows without the need for a second PCR test, or for RNA sequencing for strain detection.

As major variants can be differentiated in all positive samples, this novel test strategy provides improved statistics for epidemiology with shorter (overnight) time-to-result (TTR) and lower costs than NGS, which typically can be done only on a fraction of positive samples with much longer TTRs.

The novel FluoroType SARS-CoV-2 varID Q mid-plex assay is enabled by Bruker´s proprietary LiquidArray® assay format, which supports a higher degree of PCR multiplexing on Bruker´s high-performance Fluorocycler XT system. The assay is validated for nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs, and for automation of nucleic acid extraction and PCR setup it is validated on Bruker’s new CE-IVD marked GenoXtract fleXT system for 96 samples.

Dr. Katharina Madlener, the Director of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Hygiene in the Kerckhoff-Klinik Bad Nauheim in Germany, explained: “During the very dynamic situation of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, we need molecular diagnostics solutions that reflect the changing requirements. The added value from the differentiation of major virus variants, without the need to send samples for sequencing, is a major benefit to keep track of the local spread and prevalence.”

Dr. Miguel Ángel Benítez Merelo, the Technical Director & Head of Microbiology at CLILAB Diagnostics in Barcelona, Spain, added: “The quantification of the SARS-CoV-2 viral load is a further plus of the assay. It is important to get the virus detected in a sensitive assay, but we also want to get further indications of whether the patient is currently highly infectious or not. This information may be used to adjust healthcare measures appropriately.”

Dr. Wolfgang Pusch, Executive Vice President Microbiology & Diagnostics at Bruker Daltonics, commented: “With the FluoroType SARS-CoV-2 varID Q we can now provide the public healthcare systems in Europe with a LiquidArray assay that detects, differentiates, and quantifies the SARS-CoV-2 virus rapidly and inexpensively in just one PCR test. This avoids the workload, cost, and time for a second PCR test or for sequencing. Accordingly, this novel CE-IVD assay offers major benefits for patients, physicians, testing laboratories, and healthcare systems at the same time.”

Reference: 

1. WHO/BS.2020.2402 Collaborative Study for the Establishment of a WHO International Standard for SARS-CoV-2 RNA


    

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Date Published: 21st June 2021

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


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