Scientists say the COVID-19 test offers a solution for testing to the entire population

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A scanning electron micrograph of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Credit: NIAID

In an article that appears in Biomedical Engineering of Nature, a team of scientists from the David Geffen School of Medicine and the UCLA School of Engineering report the actual results of SwabSeq, a high-performance testing platform that uses sequencing to test thousands of samples at a time to detect COVID-19. They were able to perform more than 80,000 tests in less than two months, with the extremely high sensitivity and specificity test.

SwabSeq uses sample-specific molecular barcodes to simultaneously analyze thousands of samples for the presence or absence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. SwabSeq received FDA emergency use approval in October and is currently deployed at UCLA in a highly complex CLIA lab, which has performed more than 150,000 tests since December 2020. SwabSeq is a flexible protocol and can rapidly expand testing for new pathogens, including COVID. -19 and future emerging viruses.

“We have optimized SwabSeq to prioritize scale and low cost, key factors that are missing from current COVID-19 diagnoses,” the authors write.

“These results demonstrate the potential of SwabSeq to be used for SARS-CoV-2 testing on an unprecedented scale,” said Dr. Valerie Arboleda, assistant professor and lead scientist on the project. “SwabSeq offers a potential solution to the need for testing across the population to curb the pandemic.” In the months that followed, the team continued to use the , and since that date has performed more than 150,000 tests.

The innovative technology was developed in a collaboration between scientists from the Department of Computational Medicine affiliated with both the David Geffen School of Medicine and the Samueli School of Engineering at UCLA, the Department of Human Genetics, the Department of Pathology and Medicine. of Laboratory and Octant. , a start-up company founded and incubated at UCLA. SwabSeq is a modification of Octave technology that is applied to drug discovery and has been made available in general to combat the pandemic. UCLA scientists have led a broader coalition of academic and industrial laboratories across the country and around the world to develop technology to expand COVID-19 testing.


UCLA Health scientists pioneer faster, cheaper COVID-19 testing technology


More information:
Joshua S. Bloom et al, Massive Tests to Increase SARS-CoV-2 RNA by Sequencing New Generation of Grouped and Barcode Nasal and Saliva Samples Biomedical Engineering of Nature (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41551-021-00754-5

CitationScientists say the COVID-19 test offers a solution for tests of the entire population (2021, July 2) retrieved on July 2, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-scientists- covid-solution-population-wide.html

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