Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 6 Issue 136 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 15-May-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 16-May-2004
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New method may detect SARS virus in minutes

Japanese and Vietnamese researchers have developed a new one-step method that may allow for rapid detection of the SARS virus. Their findings appear in the May 2004 issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

"Currently, there are no suitable antiviral drugs or an effective vaccine for SARS virus. Rapid laboratory confirmation of SARS-CoV infection is therefore important for managing patient care and for preventing nosocomial transmission," say the researchers.

In the study, throat and nasal samples were collected from hospitalized patients in Vietnam. Researchers then tested for the SARS virus using a new one-step method, Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP), during which DNA amplification occurs in a single tube placed under isothermal conditions (63 degrees Celsius) providing results any where from eleven minutes to one hour. This highly specific and selective method proved 87 to 100 percent effective in detecting the SARS virus in the samples collected.

"The one-step single-tube accelerated real-time quantitative RT-LAMP assay developed in this study is simple, rapid, and cost effective as well as highly sensitive and specific," say the researchers. "This has potential usefulness for clinical diagnosis and surveillance of SARS virus in developing countries, as it does not require the use of sophisticated equipment or skilled personnel."

(H.T. Cam Thai, M.Q. Le, C.D. Vuong, M. Parida, H. Minekawa, T. Notomi, F. Hasebe, K. Morita. 2004. Development and evaluation of a novel loop-mediated isothermal amplification method for rapid detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 42. 5: 1956-1961.)

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