Thailand Accelerates Development of Innovative COVID-19 Test Kits

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The efficacy of COVID-19 SCAN in clinical diagnosis is 100% specificity, 96.23% sensitivity and 98.78% accuracy

A research team led by Assoc. Professor Dr Sanchai Payungporn, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, has accelerated the development of innovative COVID-19 test kits – “COVID-19 SCAN” which are convenient, fast, inexpensive, with efficiency, precision close to real-time PCR standards mandated by the Ministry of Public Health.

The distinctive features of the innovative COVID-19 SCAN kit are that it is a molecular test similar to real-time PCR, which can be used for both throat swab and saliva samples.

The advantage of using saliva samples is that they are easy to take and have a high infection detection rate within the first 11 days of symptoms. The swab does not cause irritation compared to nasal swabs, so it can be done as often as needed. Processing time is approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on sample volume.

COVID-19 SCAN kits use a process of genomic DNA extraction and propagation under one temperature. Then, the specific genetic material is detected by the CRISPR-Cas12a system, and if it is positive, it will glow under a blue light transilluminator.

The efficacy of COVID-19 SCAN in clinical diagnosis is 100% specificity, 96.23% sensitivity and 98.78% accuracy. It also uses simple tools and less storage space. It is suitable for provincial hospitals and general clinics that do not have expensive real-time PCR machines, as well as proactive offsite testing, such as in industrial areas.

The test kits are not yet available for the general public for personal use, however, as they have yet to be administered by expert medical personnel. The cost is about 50% lower than the real-time PCR test.


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