Votre navigateur ne supporte pas le javascript Wallonia & Brussels against COVID-19 - Haruko Takeda, Senior Scientist


Haruko Takeda, Senior Scientist

Development of rapid and reliable alternative diagnostics for wide-scale COVID-19 testing. " Wide-scale implementation of rapid, reliable, low-cost diagnostic tests would help epidemic containment and mitigation strategies. The current gold standard in COVID-19 diagnostics employs quantitative reverse transcription (qRT) PCR which through cyclic reactions at different temperatures detects segments of the SARS-CoV-2 genome from RNA extracts from nasopharyngeal swabs. Though reliable, this procedure requires special sampling devices, purification of RNA, qualified personnel, sophisticated equipment, and a six hour turnaround time to result. By leveraging on university expert capacities such as molecular biology and protein science, our team has performed a series of controlled experiments to assess the specificity and sensitivity of loop- mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP)- and recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA)-based tests in comparison with the qRT-PCR procedure. In contrast to qRT-PCR, LAMP and RPA reactions (1) occur at a single temperature: 65 and 42°C, respectively, (2) are completed within 30 minutes, (3) are robust for crude samples, and (4) can incorporate a colorimetric visual detection. We observed increase of reliability by integrating CRISPR-Cas12/Cas13 reporter detection systems. In addition, to protect us from foreseeable supply shortages, we work on producing in-house reagents and enzymes. We will continue our research for developing diagnostic tests that would meet requirements for assisting epidemic containment of the virus. "
Funding: Own funding of the GIGA Institute in Liege University
Contact: Haruko Takeda, Aleksandr Tashkeev, Alain Brans, Emmanuel Di Valentin, François Boemer (Liège University)

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Brussels & Wallonia against COVID19