Corona News

Method developed in Frankfurt boosts Corona testing capacity significantly

Researchers in Frankfurt have developed a method with which the test capacities for proving a SARS-CoV-2 infection can be multiplied by a significant factor world-wide – immediately.

The joint research team from the German Red Cross Blood Donor Service led by Prof. Erhard Seifried and the Institute for Medical Virology at the University Teaching Hospital led by Prof. Sandra Ciesek has devised a way of testing several samples for the virus simultaneously. As a result, the current figure of about 40,000 tests a day nationwide in Germany could be hiked to between 200,000 and 400,000 tests, without the quality of the testing in any way being impaired.

Testing several samples at once

Normally, the samples of mucus from the throat or nose used for the tests are individually checked for the Coronavirus. In the new method, the researchers combine several samples in a special solution and then test the liquid using a so-called PCR process which directly proves the existence of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. If the overall result is negative, then you can be certain that all the individual samples were clear of infection: This pool testing has no influence on the threshold at which evidence of the virus is identified. In the event of the solution testing positive, each of the samples need to be tested again, separately.

Making the technology accessible

The rights to the invention (patent applications have been filed in the USA and in Europe) are held jointly by the Goethe University and the German Red Cross Blood Donor Service. The Goethe University’s science transfer company Innovectis will be making the technology available immediately to other interested institutions.
31MAR2020 Source: Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst https://www.hessen.de/presse/pressestelle/hessisches-ministerium-fuer-wissenschaft-und-kunst-0
English translation: © gainestranslations.de

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