To address the COVID-19 outbreaks that continue to skyrocket with new clusters in numerous dark red areas in many provinces across Thailand, a research team has developed an innovative COVID-19 screening kit that is convenient, fast, and inexpensive — and provides efficiency and accuracy close to real-time PCR standards.
The distinctive characteristics 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 and saliva swab samples. The advantage of using saliva samples is that they are easy to collect and have a high infection detection rate within the first 11 days of symptoms. The collection does not cause irritation compared to nasal swabs, so it can be done as often as needed. The processing time is approximately 90 minutes — two hours depending on the sample volume.
The COVID-19 SCAN kits use genomic DNA extraction and propagation process under a single temperature. Then the specific genetic material is detected by the CRISPR-Cas12a system, and if it is positive, it would glow under a blue light transilluminator.
The efficacy of the COVID-19 SCAN in clinical diagnosis is 100 percent specificity, 96.23 percent sensitivity, and 98.78 percent 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, off-site testing, such as in industrial estates.
The kits are suitable for the COVID-19 screening missions, including medical agencies that must regularly screen for infected persons.