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Bio-Aerosol Collection and Identification System Capable of Detecting SARS-CoV-2 in Air

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 19 Feb 2021
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Image: BioFlash Biological Identifier (Photo courtesy of Smiths Detection)
Image: BioFlash Biological Identifier (Photo courtesy of Smiths Detection)
A bio-aerosol collection and identification system that provides rapid, sensitive and specific identification of various pathogens including viruses, toxins and bacteria has demonstrated its capability in detecting SARS-CoV-2 in the air during tests performed using live coronavirus.

The BioFlash Biological Identifier from Smiths Detection (Watford, Herts, UK) featuring the SARS-CoV-2 CANARY biosensor demonstrated that it can quickly detect and identify the presence of low levels of aerosolized SARS-CoV-2. The BioFlash Biological Identifier is powered by CANARY technology (a cell-based biosensor) and is combined with proprietary aerosol-collection techniques to provide rapid, sensitive and specific identification of biological-threat agents including viruses, toxins and bacteria.

The tests were conducted by the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in a Biosafety Level 3 containment area. USAMRIID confirmed that the BioFlash Biological Identifier can detect down to an estimated 6,000 airborne infectious particles of the SARS-CoV-2 virus within a controlled environment. This compares to as many as one million particles emitted in a single sneeze by a person infected with SARS-CoV-2. The test results also indicate no cross-reactivity with influenza and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), an important consideration for environmental monitoring of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Further testing and research is underway at a number of US universities to collect more data on how the detection technology can help prevent outbreaks and guide both public and private organizations in COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

“We are working incredibly hard to provide a tool that will support the ongoing fight against the coronavirus,” said Roland Carter, President, Smiths Detection. “BioFlash is an effective and trusted environmental monitoring tool. These test results provide valuable data in understanding the spread of COVID-19 and help protect people in indoor environments such as hospitals, schools and commercial buildings.”

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