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27th January 2021  Product update: Rapidvirology staff writer

Molecular Solution to Detect SARS-CoV-2 Variants: B.1.1.7 (UK) and B.1.351 (South Africa)

The Gold Standard Diagnostics Group (GSD) is pleased to announce the launch of 2 validated assays for the identification of B.1.1.7 (UK) and B.1.351 (South Africa) variants with a short turn-around time.

The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 has put the world on alert. This emerging virus belongs to a group of RNA viruses that have very high rates of spontaneous mutations, resulting in an extraordinary ability to quickly adapt to new hosts and environments.

Even though multiple random mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome have been observed since its first emergence, recent scientific reports have identified two new SARS-CoV-2 variants which have raised special attention and are more alarming because of their concerning epidemiological features, characterized by higher infection rates and rapid replacement of prevalent virus lineages.

The new lineage B.1.1.7, which was first identified in South England, is defined by an unusually large number of 23 mutations. The lineage B.1.351 was initially identified in South Africa. Both variants show mutations in different positions of the S gene, coding for the spike protein. Especially, the mutation N501Y seems to increase infectivity, which is found in both the UK (B.1.1.7) and the South Africa (B.1.351) virus variants.

The two lineages can be distinguished by the mutation A570D, which is only present in the South African variant. The rapid emergence of the new virus variants represents a continuous challenge to diagnostic kits manufacturers.

We must work to ensure that all new variants continue to be detected while expanding our technologies to identify specific lineages to better surveil the spread.

Complement your existing PCR kit with our ID assay, or benefit from our full solution from diagnosis to identification with our Detect & ID kit.:

GSD NovaType SARS-CoV-2 Detect & ID

  • Assay Design: Real-Time RT-PCR test for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2, and the subsequent identification of B.1.1.7 (UK) and B.1.351 (South Africa) variants

  • Kit Contents for Diagnostics (CE-IVD): RT-PCR Enzyme Mix, Primer-Probe-Mix, Extraction, and Positive Controls

  • Kit Contents for Identification: Primers and Probes • Specimen types: nasal, nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal, BAL, pharynx gargle

  • 2-Step workflow: RT-PCR diagnosis + positive samples run for lineage confirmation

GSD NovaType SARS-CoV-2 ID

  • Assay Design: Real-Time RT-PCR test for the identification of B.1.1.7 (UK) and B.1.351 (South Africa) variants on positive PCR samples

  • Kit Contents: RT-PCR Enzyme Mix, Primers and Probes

  • For Research Use Only (RUO)

GSD is continuously monitoring the rapid emergence of additional SARS-CoV-2 variants and will constantly expand its portfolio to meet new requirements. 

If you are interested in further details, please contact The Gold Standard Diagnostics Group by using the 'Request Information' button provided below. 


• Investigation of novel SARS-CoV-2 variant. Variant of Concern 202012/01  . Public Health England

• Preliminary genomic characterization of an emergent SARS-CoV-2 lineage in the UK defined by a novel set of spike mutations  , Andrew Rambault et al., Genomic Epidemiology 2020

• Emergence and rapid spread of a new severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) lineage with multiple spike mutations in South Africa  . Houriiyah Tegally et al.



Date Published: 27th January 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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