UK, Swiss company Roche says COVID-19 tests can detect mutant strains of the virus

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The rapidly spreading mutation has caused deep concern in the UK. (File)

The UK and drug maker Roche assured Wednesday that the accuracy of the diagnostic tests used to detect COVID-19 are unlikely to be affected by a rapidly spreading mutant strain of the virus.

Public Health England said rapid cross-flow tests, used in the country’s mass testing program, can identify the variant.

Separately, Roche said that neither its molecular test for COVID-19 nor a combined molecular COVID-19 / influenza test used on its high-throughput diagnostic devices is likely to be affected by the mutations.

The reason, said the Swiss company, was that the mutations occurred in different regions of the new coronavirus than in the regions to which the tests refer.

Roche also said five more tests will be sold – Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Test, Elecsys SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test, and Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S Test, as well as its SARS-CoV-2 Rapid antigen test and SARS-CoV-2 rapid test for antibodies – were also probably not circumvented by the variant.

Roche announced that it will carry out further tests for the rapid antibody test carried out in collaboration with the South Korean SD Biosensor to be sure.

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“We will share our results as soon as these indications are completed,” said the Basel company.

The rapidly spreading mutation has caused deep concern in the UK and, moreover, has made fighting the pandemic even more difficult as infections increase. Nations like Switzerland have announced a series of travel bans and restrictions to limit the spread of the burden outside of the UK.

Vaccine makers like Pfizer and BioNTech are also investigating whether the mutant virus that emerged in the UK could escape their shots, saying it will take them about two weeks to make a decision. They say they expect it to still work, but the data needs to confirm it.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)

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