A new “game-changing” coronavirus swab test could tell if you have the bug within 15 minutes.
Developed by British scientists, the £1.50 test works on saliva or blood and is able to detect particles of the coronavirus.
Project leader Stephen Bustin, Professor of molecular medicine at Anglia Ruskin University, is a leading expert in quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR).
He said the throat and nose swab could give a “robust and reliable” response on whether a patient has the virus.
Prof Bustin said: “The test works on nucleic acid, so any biological sample will do. SARS is usually detected in nose or throat swabs.
“So that is what we have used for its validation. But it also works with saliva samples and would work with blood – although blood is not used for Covid testing.”
Prof Bustin added: “The estimated reagent cost would be about £1.50 per PCR sample.”
The swabs detect three viral targets and Prof Bustin says this makes it more reliable than other tests that just look at one.
The experts tested the swab on 30 patients and found that it was 100 per cent accurate.
Professor Bustin said: “A patient could feasibly take our test, wait in isolation, and receive results in less than 20 minutes.
“This would in turn prevent the laboratory backlog that is currently hampering efforts to stop the virus circulating in our community.”
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