04 Sep COVID-19 in the winter season – overcoming new challenges with the Winterplex™
Distinguishing COVID-19 infection from other respiratory illnesses is of crucial importance in controlling the spread of the disease. This is especially true during the winter months, where there is a surge in flu cases as well as other illnesses. The genesig® SARS-CoV-2 Winterplex enables clinicians to simultaneously test for COVID-19 and other winter illnesses, providing reliable results in under two hours.
As we enter the winter months of 2020, there are several unknowns about how the severity and spread of COVID-19 will be affected. Some winter diseases, such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), have respiratory symptoms that are very similar to COVID-19. A looming challenge for healthcare departments during the flu season is in distinguishing cases of COVID-19 from other winter illnesses with similar features. This is an essential component of future COVID-19 diagnostics.
The solution: genesig® SARS-CoV-2 Winterplex
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The Novacyt Group, a pioneer in COVID-19 testing, has developed a respiratory test platform that allows clinicians to distinguish between common winter diseases. genesig® SARS-CoV-2 Winterplex is a real-time PCR test with near 100% specificity and sensitivity, as shown in clinical trials. As well as its unrivaled accuracy and reproducibility, genesig® SARS-CoV-2 Winterplex benefits from high speed, giving researchers the ability to go from patient sample to result in under 2 hours.
The genesig® SARS-CoV-2 Winterplex panel includes two SARS-Cov-2-specific genes (ORF1ab and the S gene), as well as gene targets for the latest strains of influenza A and B, and RSV (A and B). Thus, in a single, multiplexed assay, clinicians can segregate patients infected with SARS-Cov-2 from those suffering from more common illnesses with similar symptoms. This is essential in controlling the pandemic during the challenging winter months. genesig® SARS-CoV-2 Winterplex can also be used as a screening tool for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals so regular high-throughput testing can be maximised further.
Simplicity and reliability
As well as providing reliable results, the platform also benefits from ease of use. It is compatible with any PCR platform, including Novacyt’s own portable q32 instrument. Additionally, the reagents are lyophilized, negating the need for costly transportation. Only one sample per patient is needed for the entire panel, and robust controls are provided to enable clinicians to verify their results.
The genesig® SARS-CoV-2 Winterplex panel will be incredibly helpful in overcoming new COVID-19 challenges posed by the winter season. Novacyt expects to be able to meet the potential global demand for the product, which represents a critical addition to its COVID-19 product portfolio.