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Multiplex detection of SARS-CoV-2 variants by MALDI-TOF-MS

18 April 2023 | News
by Ian Michael
Drawing of COVID-19 virus

The recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continuous evolution of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have highlighted the significance of new detection methods for global monitoring and prevention. Although quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR), the current gold standard for diagnosis, performs excellently in genetic testing, its multiplexing capability is limited because of the signal crosstalk of various fluorophores. A new, highly efficient platform which combines 17-plex assays with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) enables the targeting of 14 different mutation sites of the spike gene. Diagnosis using a set of 324 nasopharyngeal swabs or sputum clinical samples with SARS-CoV-2 MS method was identical to that with the RT-qPCR. The detection consistency of mutation sites was 97.9 % (47/48) compared to Sanger sequencing without cross-reaction with other respiratory-related pathogens. Therefore, the MS method is highly potent to track and assess SARS-CoV-2 changes in a timely manner, thereby aiding the continuous response to viral variation and prevention of further transmission.

Read the original journal paper in Biosafety and Health

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