The current pandemic has swiped the world in more ways than one. That is why people are paying attention to proper COVID-19 testing as part of the control and management of the virus. Among countries, discussions are ongoing about the importance, efficacy, and availability of COVID-19 testing. Tactics to control and manage the transmission of the virus are employed across countries. Some common approaches include travel restrictions, stay-at-home mandates, and bans on public congregations. Nevertheless, both scientists and public health experts alike will have to agree that making COVID-19 testing widely available would boost efforts in better tracking the spread of the virus.
Different molecular techniques are already made available for the management and diagnosis of patients with COVID-19. Some, on the other hand, is still under development. These techniques are well-known to both clinicians and researchers with a background in antibody and antigen assays as well as deoxyribonucleic acid amplification. One of the most commonly used and more accurate methods in testing patients who are positive with the virus is coronavirus real-time PCR kits.
Most people are unaware of what coronavirus real-time PCR kit do and how they can detect the presence of the virus in people. This short article will provide the basic principles of reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction or real-time PCR and their role in the detection of COVID-19.
For over 20 to 30 years, PCR is one of the most highly used scientific techniques in research and medicine that helps detect genetic information. When RNA requires detection, a special version called RT-PCR is used. And now, it is widely used to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in people. The use of coronavirus real-time PCR kit is generally considered a frontline test for the presence of the virus as it has the power to directly check the presence of the RNA virus.
Coronavirus real-time PCR kits are fairly reliable, sensitive, and quick. They can produce results in just a matter of 3 to 4 hours. However, the results of the test may take longer than usual if samples need to be sent first to specialized laboratories. On average, you get your results between 6 and 8 hours. These days, a good number of research and diagnosis companies produce RT-PCR products, machines, and tests. In short, this technology is now widely available. For some of these tests, they are developed as all-in-one kits. This allows for the reduction of handling from the laboratory and the possibility of contamination.
These kits work by getting samples from patients. After the collection of the said samples, certain chemicals are used to remove any fats, proteins, and other molecules from them, leaving behind the only RNA. The result will be a combination of the person’s genetic material as well as any viral RNA that may be present.
Coronavirus real-time PCR kits essentially detect the presence of any viral DNA in the patient’s samples. These kits do this by amplifying and capturing regions of the genetic material of the virus. To measure the viral RNA, it must first be converted to DNA and copied many times with the repeated use of temperature cycles inside a PCR machine. The use of fluorescent markers is also vital to detect the presence of the virus.
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