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The new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which first appeared in southern England in late 2020, also known as the “British variant,” has quickly spread to other parts of the world. Although Public Health England claims that there is no proof that this mutation causes more severe disease, this strain is significantly more infectious. Another variant first observed in South Africa is also expanding.
With the spread of the British variant there is a major risk that the ability of some diagnostic kits to detect SARS-CoV-2 will be lowered due to mutations in the S protein gene.
GeneProof supplies to both the European and global market two SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic kits, both of which detect three independent genetic sequences contained in the virus. None of these sequences is located in the problematic S protein gene or in other parts of the virus genome affected by mutations. Therefore, the sensitivity and reliability of GeneProof’s PCR diagnostic kits are in no way reduced.
The molecular biologists and virologists at GeneProof, a leading Czech biotechnology company, have proven themselves to be far-sighted. Back in the spring, GeneProof’s experts already anticipated the possibility of new variants emerging and therefore decided to design diagnostic kits that would not be affected by expected mutations. At the same time, they also followed the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding target sequences and their combinations. Now, we see that this decision was the right one.
Many producers of diagnostic tests did not base their designs on WHO recommendations. As a result, the detection quality of such kits may be compromised. Unlike these other companies, GeneProof respected WHO recommendations, and its tests combine the three independent recommended target sequences. This design minimalizes the risk of GeneProof’s tests being less sensitive in detecting possible new SARS-CoV-2 variants (such as the British variant, 20B.YV1, and the South African variant, 20C.501Y.V1).
GeneProof’s PCR tests for detecting Covid-19 remain some of the best, most reliable diagnostic kits available in Europe and throughout the globe.
Here you can also download the new GeneProof press release.