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Validation of a Portable SARS-CoV-2 Multiplex PCR Panel for Five Major Variants of Concern

Global Health Surveillance In Vitro Diagnostics

From the Jan. 10 Biodefense Headlines online:

Here researchers have created a panel of four triplex RT-qPCR assays targeting 12 mutations to detect and differentiate all five variants of concern: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron. They also developed an expanded pentaplex assay that can reliably distinguish among the major sublineages (BA.1–BA.5) of Omicron. In silico, analytical and clinical testing of the variant panel indicate that the assays exhibit high sensitivity and specificity. This panel can help fulfill the need for rapid identification of variants in samples, leading to quick decision making with respect to public health measures, as well as treatment options for individuals. Compared to sequencing, these genotyping PCR assays allow much faster turn-around time from sample to results—just a couple hours. Frontiers in Public Health