New probes using incredibly bright dyes could help detect COVID-19 earlier, leading to faster testing even when only trace amounts of SARS-CoV-2 RNA are present. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, scientists search for ways to catch positive cases earlier and run samples faster. Rapid testing is crucial to slow the spread of the virus.
High-brightness dyes offer the promise of greatly improving COVID-19 testing methods. The testing approach using high-brightness PCR probes. Based on recently developed proprietary dyes several thousand times brighter than commercial products, the probes will detect the novel coronavirus with trace RNA in a much shorter time period and with fewer thermal cycles.
These high-brightness dyes could enable more robust testing and monitoring of viral RNA and could be applied to other virus and pathogen testing as well.
Being able to detect, quantify, and track viral RNA at low concentration and high accuracy will expedite tests, reduce false negatives, and accelerate vaccine and drug development to reduce the impacts of COVID-19 and of future pandemics.