Rapid Identification of SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern Using a Portable peak PCR Platform

Anal Chem. 2021 Dec 14;93(49):16350-16359. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.1c02368. Epub 2021 Dec 1.


The need for tools that facilitate rapid detection and continuous monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) is greater than ever, as these variants are more transmissible and therefore increase the pressure of COVID-19 on healthcare systems. To address this demand, we aimed at developing and evaluating a robust and fast diagnostic approach for the identification of SARS-CoV-2 VOC-associated spike gene mutations. Our diagnostic assays detect the E484K and N501Y single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as well as a spike gene deletion (HV69/70) and can be run on standard laboratory equipment or on the portable rapid diagnostic technology platform peakPCR. The assays achieved excellent diagnostic performance when tested with RNA extracted from culture-derived SARS-CoV-2 VOC lineages and clinical samples collected in Equatorial Guinea, Central-West Africa. Simplicity of usage and the relatively low cost are advantages that make our approach well suitable for decentralized and rapid testing, especially in resource-limited settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / virology
  • Equatorial Guinea / epidemiology
  • Gene Deletion
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • SARS-CoV-2* / classification

Supplementary concepts

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants