Quantitative rt-PCR assays for the rapid detection of 2019-nCoV in human samples
The outbreak of novel coronavirus infections in early January in mainland China presented an urgent need for molecular tests for the rapid detection of the virus to identify cases quickly. HKU SPH researchers have developed two assays to detect the novel coronavirus, and described in this paper published on Clinical Chemistry their development of two 1-step quantitative real-time reverse-transcription PCR assays that are capable of detecting two different regions of the novel coronavirus viral genome. These two regions are highly-conserved regions of the group of coronaviruses that are closely related to the SARS coronavirus that caused the 2003 SARS outbreak, including the novel coronavirus. This allows the use of nucleic acids derived from the SARS coronavirus as positive controls during the early stages of the outbreak.
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