24 September 2023

Digital Technology Guru

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New Method Utilizes Mass Spectrometry to Detect SARS-CoV-2

2 min read
New Method Utilizes Mass Spectrometry to Detect SARS-CoV-2

Researchers from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have developed a new method to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus using mass spectrometry. This approach utilizes equipment that is already in use in hospitals and laboratories to detect bacterial and fungal infections. The method is quick and specific, with results available within just two hours from the time of taking a swab.

The process involves preparing a nasal or throat swab and analyzing it using a mass spectrometer. In mass spectrometry, laser pulses are used to measure the mass of individual components of the sample. This allows for the direct detection of individual virus particles, reducing the chances of false-positive results.

Although the new method is not as sensitive as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which is currently the most sensitive test for COVID-19, it is faster and more flexible. This makes it an ideal addition to PCR testing, particularly in detecting outbreaks and providing rapid and reliable results.

The advantage of using mass spectrometers for SARS-CoV-2 detection is that they are already widely available in many laboratories and clinics for diagnosing bacterial and fungal infections. Additionally, these devices have the capability to distinguish between different variants of the virus.

The MLU researchers, in collaboration with the University of Leipzig Medical Center, plan to further optimize the method and undergo a certification process for clinical use. The adaptability of the method also makes it suitable for detecting other pathogens in future pandemics.

Overall, this new method utilizing mass spectrometry shows promise in providing a rapid and specific approach to detecting SARS-CoV-2, contributing to the effective containment of outbreaks.

Source: Martin-Luther-Universit├Ąt Halle-Wittenberg