CRISPR-Cas12-based detection of SARS-CoV-2

Nat Biotechnol. 2020 Jul;38(7):870-874. doi: 10.1038/s41587-020-0513-4. Epub 2020 Apr 16.


An outbreak of betacoronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2 began in Wuhan, China in December 2019. COVID-19, the disease associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, rapidly spread to produce a global pandemic. We report development of a rapid (<40 min), easy-to-implement and accurate CRISPR-Cas12-based lateral flow assay for detection of SARS-CoV-2 from respiratory swab RNA extracts. We validated our method using contrived reference samples and clinical samples from patients in the United States, including 36 patients with COVID-19 infection and 42 patients with other viral respiratory infections. Our CRISPR-based DETECTR assay provides a visual and faster alternative to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention SARS-CoV-2 real-time RT-PCR assay, with 95% positive predictive agreement and 100% negative predictive agreement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus / genetics
  • Betacoronavirus / isolation & purification*
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems*
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques*
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques / methods*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • RNA, Guide / genetics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Time Factors


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Covid-19 aAPC vaccine
  • RNA, Guide