Scientists say COVID-19 check presents answer for population-wide testing

A colorized scanning electron micrograph of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Credit score: NIAID

In an article showing in Nature Biomedical Engineering, a group of scientists from the UCLA David Geffen College of Drugs and UCLA College of Engineering report real-world outcomes on SwabSeq, a high-throughput testing platform that makes use of sequencing to check 1000’s of samples at a time to detect COVID-19. They have been capable of carry out greater than 80,000 exams in lower than two months, with the check exhibiting extraordinarily excessive sensitivity and specificity.

SwabSeq makes use of sample-specific molecular barcodes to concurrently analyze 1000’s of samples for the presence or absence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. SwabSeq was granted FDA Emergency Use Authorization in October and is at the moment deployed at UCLA in a high-complexity CLIA laboratory, which has carried out over 150,000 exams since December 2020. SwabSeq is a versatile protocol and may quickly scale up testing for novel pathogens, together with COVID-19 and future rising viruses.

“We have now optimized SwabSeq to prioritize scale and low value, key components which are lacking from present COVID-19 diagnostics,” the authors write.

“These outcomes exhibit the potential of SwabSeq for use for SARS-CoV-2 testing on an unprecedented scale,” stated Dr. Valerie Arboleda, Assistant Professor and lead scientist on the mission. “SwabSeq presents a possible answer to the necessity for population-wide testing to stem the pandemic.” Within the months since, the group has continued to make use of the check, and as of this date has carried out greater than 150,000 exams.

The groundbreaking know-how was developed in a collaboration between scientists on the Division of Computational Drugs affiliated with each the David Geffen College of Drugs and the Samueli College of Engineering at UCLA, the Division of Human Genetics, the Division of Pathology and Laboratory Drugs, and Octant, a start-up firm based and incubated at UCLA. SwabSeq is a modification of Octant’s know-how that’s being utilized towards drug discovery and has been made obtainable broadly to struggle the pandemic. UCLA scientists have been main a broader coalition of educational and industrial labs across the nation and the world to develop the know-how to scale up COVID-19 testing.


UCLA Well being scientists pioneer sooner, cheaper COVID-19 testing know-how


Extra data:
Joshua S. Bloom et al, Massively scaled-up testing for SARS-CoV-2 RNA through next-generation sequencing of pooled and barcoded nasal and saliva samples, Nature Biomedical Engineering (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41551-021-00754-5

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