Point-of-care bulk testing for SARS-CoV-2 by combining hybridization capture with improved colorimetric LAMP

Nat Commun. 2021 Mar 5;12(1):1467. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21627-0.


Efforts to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 have spurred the need for reliable, rapid, and cost-effective diagnostic methods which can be applied to large numbers of people. However, current standard protocols for the detection of viral nucleic acids while sensitive, require a high level of automation and sophisticated laboratory equipment to achieve throughputs that allow whole communities to be tested on a regular basis. Here we present Cap-iLAMP (capture and improved loop-mediated isothermal amplification) which combines a hybridization capture-based RNA extraction of gargle lavage samples with an improved colorimetric RT-LAMP assay and smartphone-based color scoring. Cap-iLAMP is compatible with point-of-care testing and enables the detection of SARS-CoV-2 positive samples in less than one hour. In contrast to direct addition of the sample to improved LAMP (iLAMP), Cap-iLAMP prevents false positives and allows single positive samples to be detected in pools of 25 negative samples, reducing the reagent cost per test to ~1 Euro per individual.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / diagnosis*
  • COVID-19 / virology*
  • COVID-19 Testing / methods*
  • Colorimetry / methods*
  • Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods*
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques / methods*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / methods*
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Point-of-Care Testing*
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • SARS-CoV-2 / genetics
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • RNA, Viral
  • nucleocapsid phosphoprotein, SARS-CoV-2

Supplementary concepts

  • LAMP assay

Associated data

  • Dryad/10.5061/dryad.2rbnzs7mk