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DNA sensors can be detected when the COVID is contagious

Stephen Reinberg

Health Day Reporter

Friday, September 24, 2021 (HealthDay News)-New DNA A new study shows that the sensor can detect the virus and determine if the virus is infectious in minutes.

The sensor is developed using DNA technology and does not require pretreatment of test samples. Researchers have demonstrated this technique with human adenovirus ( cold And influenza) and the virus that causes COVID-19.

“The state of infectivity is very important to know if a patient is contagious or if environmental disinfection methods work,” said Ana Peinetti, a postdoc researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC). Information. ”

“We have developed these highly specific DNA molecules, called aptamers, that can not only recognize the virus but also distinguish the infection status of the virus,” Peinetti said in a university news release. I did. She currently leads a research group at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Researcher YiLu, an emeritus professor of chemistry at UIUC, explained that current measurements of viral RNA may not be an accurate indicator of infectivity.

“For viruses that cause COVID-19, viral RNA levels have been shown to have a minimal correlation with viral infectivity. In the early stages of human infection, viral RNA is low and difficult to detect. But people are very contagious. “

“If a person recovers and is not infectious, the RNA levels of the virus can be very high. Antigen testing [commonly used for COVID] It is slower than viral RNA, but follows a similar pattern. Therefore, both RNA and antigen tests for the virus are inadequate to tell if the virus is infectious. Treatment is delayed or quarantine, Or the premature release of those who may still be contagious. “

With the new sensor method, results can be obtained in 30 minutes to 2 hours. It does not require sample processing and can be used for viruses that do not propagate in the lab.

Benito Marina, a researcher who is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at UIUC, said:

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“The ability to detect infectious adenovirus in the presence of viruses that have been made non-infectious by water disinfectants and other potentially interfering background substances in wastewater and contaminated natural water is unprecedented new. We provide an approach. We believe that such technologies may provide stronger protection for the environment, and public health. “

Researchers said the detection technology could be applied to other viruses by fine-tuning the DNA to target a variety of pathogens.

Researchers with the ability to distinguish between non-infectious and infectious viruses hope that the sensor will help them understand the mechanism of infection.

The report was published in the journal on September 22nd. Science Advances..

For more information

NS National Human Genome Institute There are more information about the virus.

Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Release, September 22, 2021

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DNA sensors can be detected when the COVID is contagious

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