The presence of coronavirus is detected through a buccal swab test – or cheek swab – and this takes approximately 48 hours to produce a result. A company based in the UK is now working on a faster way of testing for Covid-19.
Monologic Ltd has been awarded £1-million to develop a rapid diagnostic test for the coronavirus. Many countries such as the UK and US are currently in short supply of the current swab tests.
“As seen with the COVID-19 outbreak, viruses can quickly transmit between populations, however, our knowledge to tackle this threat has also grown exponentially. For rapid epidemic preparedness and response, we need to develop a platform that is readily modified according to a novel pathogen, as we are demonstrating through our accelerated programmes for Ebola and COVID-19,” said Professor Paul Davis, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Monologic.
The new rapid test will be a hand-held device that will take only 10 minutes to provide a diagnosis. It will do so without the need for electricity or laboratory equipment.
The test is being developed in partnership with the Institute Pasteur de Dakar in Senegal, and will be the first diagnostic test designed in the UK and manufactured in Africa. According to Bloomberg, a test could cost as little as $1 or R17.