“Every laboratory equipped with PCR analyzers can also use our method to test SARS-CoV-2 positive samples to see if the N501Y mutation is present and if it is one of two variants of the virus,” says Dorner. All you have to do is use a suitable test kit developed by a company in Berlin based on the new approach.
The new variants are more contagious
Finding out if a person is infected with one of the two new variants immediately is particularly interesting from an epidemiological standpoint. Other methods, such as sequencing the virus genome, take significantly longer.
According to current knowledge, the new variants are more contagious than the wild type variant. But not only the high incidence can be a problem. In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Johnson announced recently that initial indications had been found that the new variant of the virus could be more severe and cause a slightly higher death rate. Against this background, a new rapid test of variants may gain importance in the future.