Korea researchers have developed molecular diagnostics technology that can detect Omicron variants. The technology development has been currently completed, and it is expected to take time for commercialization.
POSTECH announced on the 10th that a research team led by Professor Lee Jung-wook of the Department of Chemical Engineering has developed molecular diagnostic technology that can detect the Omicron variant in just 20-30 minutes and will publish the results online.
Omicron is a variant in which 26-32 mutations in the spike, which is used to infect cells by the COVID-19 virus.
According to the research team, molecular diagnostics technology can distinguish mutations at the single-nucleotide base, so it can detect “Stealth Omicron,” which are difficult to be detected by PCR tests.
Currently, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is using three methods to detect COVID-19 variants: whole-genome analysis, target DNA (mutations such as spike protein) analysis, and PCR test.
In the case of the Delta variant, it can be detected by the current PCR test, but Omicron cannot. The newly developed technology this time is not a sequencing method that reads DNA or RNA sequences, but the molecular diagnostic technology.
The existing technology screens only specific areas of the virus, but the molecular diagnostic technology was designed