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【SHINE】Quick virus detection kits may be suitable for home use

February 22, 2020      Author: Yang Meiping

Scientists in Shanghai and Hunan have developed two rapid coronavirus test kits.

A team from Renji Hospital and Hunan University has announced that they have developed a COVID-19 detection product that is so easy to use that people can use it at home, proving rapid diagnoses of suspected patients.

Tan Weihong, from Renji Hospital molecular medicine research institute, said current nucleic acid detection is done in specialist labs and can only be conducted by hospitals and a few professional testing organizations. His team has developed an on-site screening product that can be used in communities or even at home, cutting visits to hospitals by suspected patients and reducing the risk of cross infection.

The team has tested more than 100 samples with a detection rate of around 90 percent. They are now working to make the kit as easy to use as pregnancy test kits.

Another team from East China Normal University has developed a kit that can detect the virus in just 10 minutes from a single drop of blood from a patient.

The kit has been delivered to the First Hospital of Zhejiang Province for clinical verification.

The team has also built a library of antibodies from recovered patients and screened out therapeutic antibodies, believed to be safer than directly using plasma of recovered patients.