Researchers at the University of Calgary have developed a new protein-based COVID-19 test that would reduce reliance on supply chains from the current test.
While the tests currently used require a nasal or throat swab to analyze viral RNA, this new method would rather focus on looking for components of viral proteins.
“Our technique measures the proteins present directly on the swab. If they contain viral proteins, we can detect them, ”Dr. Ian Lewis, professor in the University’s Department of Biological Sciences, told Global News.
D. Lewis added that this new technique would also require the use of reagents, but in smaller quantities than those currently used.
While the researcher acknowledges that this test may not be as efficient as the analysis of viral RNA, he says it could grow faster than the tests being conducted now.
A hypothesis confirmed to Global News by virologist Marija Drikic, who is also participating in this study:
“Right now our test takes the same time as the official test. What we hope is that we will be able to process many more samples simultaneously, thus increasing the workflow and the test load that we can do in a day, ”she explained.
According to Dr Lewis, the results of the study are expected to be revealed by December.