We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Detecto

Download Mobile App





World-First Method for Rapid Isolation and Characterization of COVID-19 Variants

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 01 Jun 2022
Print article
Image: Rapid lab analysis informs global guidelines on COVID-19 vaccination and treatment (Photo courtesy of UNSW Sydney)
Image: Rapid lab analysis informs global guidelines on COVID-19 vaccination and treatment (Photo courtesy of UNSW Sydney)

Researchers have developed a methodology that speeds up the process for isolating and characterizing the risks posed by COVID-19 variants of concern. The methodology, which has been shared with the global scientific community through publication in Nature Microbiology, is highly cost-effective, automated, and can be used to measure the effectiveness of therapeutics and scaled to test thousands of samples.

The methodology, called R-20, was developed by researchers from the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney (Sydney, Australia) and used to analyze all major circulating viral variants in 2021 that were identified from patients in hotel quarantine. At the end of 2021, it was applied to Australia’s first Omicron samples. The researchers found that the vaccine-induced antibody response to Omicron was 15-20-fold weaker than to the original SARS-CoV-2 strain. The rapid analysis included details of how well the variant evades antibodies and how resilient it is. The results have been cited in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, World Health Organization (WHO) technical reports and by the Australian Technical Advisory group on Immunization (ATAGI) regarding the use of booster vaccinations.

In order to develop the methodology, the researchers took lessons learned from HIV to develop cells with receptors that viruses ‘like’. They looked at hundreds of different cells to identify ones that would allow the virus to replicate as quickly and effectively as possible. They termed these cells as the ‘canaries in the coal mine’ – because they effectively die in the process of telling the team what each variant is up to. They also allow the team to capture variants of the virus quicker than any other cell culture method, with sensitivities approaching that of a PCR swab test.

Using R-20, the researchers look at viral properties of variants to understand how sick the virus is likely to make the population, as well as how evasive it is to existing vaccines and treatments. Identifying this quickly is crucial to inform public health policies such as vaccination strategies, which therapeutics will still work and advice on mask use to mitigate spread of variants to vulnerable populations such as the elderly.

“What makes our R-20 approach unique is its speed and accuracy,” says Associate Professor Turville who developed the methodology. “The best way to quickly understand how a virus works is to genetically develop a cell with receptors that the virus likes. R-20 uses 'supercharged' cells that allow the virus to replicate four times faster than through any other techniques currently published in the scientific literature.”

Related Links:
UNSW Sydney 

BMP Whole Blood Analyzer: GEM Premier ChemSTAT
New
Gold Supplier
Creatinine/eGFR Meter
Nova Max Pro
New
Avance CS²
Anesthesia Delivery System
New
Oxygenator
HORIZON

Print article

Channels

AI

view channel
Image: EchoGo Heart Failure is the first and only AI-enabled HFpEF detection platform for echocardiography (Photo courtesy of Ultromics)

AI Solution for Echocardiography to Revolutionize Diagnosis of Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction

Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a type of heart failure often associated with co-morbidities and tends to be caused by increased pressure within the chambers of the heart.... Read more

Critical Care

view channel
Image: Lodestar DX provides lab-accurate test results in 30 minutes (Photo courtesy of Llusern Scientific)

Portable UTI Molecular Diagnostic Platform Provides Accurate Test Results in 40 Minutes

Despite being one of the most common types of infection Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are a comparatively neglected area of medicine. There are no highly accurate diagnostic tools available for point-of-care... Read more

Surgical Techniques

view channel
Image: ActivSight Intelligent Light has received CE Mark approval (Photo courtesy of Activ Surgical)

Enhanced Imaging System to Become a Game-Changer in the OR by Revolutionizing Surgical Vision

Critical structure identification and tissue perfusion assessment are essential for patients to have the best possible chance of healing well without facing life-threatening or costly complications.... Read more

Patient Care

view channel
Image: Automated cleaning system allows endoscopes to be cleaned direct from clinic (Photo courtesy of Aston University)

World’s First Automated Endoscope Cleaner Fights Antimicrobial Resistance

Endoscopes are long, thin tubes with a light and camera at one end. Due to the sensitivity of the materials and electronics they cannot be sterilized in an autoclave (a machine that uses steam under pressure),... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: Using digital data can improve health outcomes (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Electronic Health Records May Be Key to Improving Patient Care, Study Finds

When a patient gets transferred from a hospital to a nearby specialist or rehabilitation facility, it is often difficult for personnel at the new facility to access the patient’s electronic health records... Read more

Business

view channel
Image: The global multiparameter patient monitoring systems market is expected to surpass USD 15 billion by 2028 (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Global Multiparameter Patient Monitoring Systems Market Driven by Rising Chronic Illnesses

Multi-parameter patient monitoring equipment is used to assess the vital signs of patients who are suffering from a serious illness. These devices are meant to give the number of data sets on one screen... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2022 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.