As with other infectious diseases, PCR-based and serological tests are suitable for the examination of persons who may have become infected with the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). PCR technology plays an important role, especially in the early phase of a virus infection, when the viruses multiply strongly, and is used for direct pathogen detection. Serological tests, on the other hand, are used to determine antibodies in the blood that could have a neutralizing effect. These tests also allow scientists to determine how quickly antibodies are formed against the virus, which in turn can be important for identifying individuals who have developed immunity.
CAMPTON is working on a test system that can perform both test variants semi-parallel on a reader within a short time. A serological test with “Cartridge 1” can detect antibodies in the blood of patients against several viral antigens simultaneously. A few µl of capillary blood, e.g. from the fingertip, are sufficient for this. In parallel to this test, a viral RNA amplification reaction from e.g. a throat swab is performed (Direct-LAMP method). Subsequently and after the serological test, this LAMP sample is also examined in Reader 100 for viral genetic material with “Cartridge 2”. This provides information in about 45 minutes as to whether a person is infectious and carries the virus (LAMP is positive) and/or whether the person has successfully survived a previous infection and formed antibodies (serological test).