A rapid, highly sensitive and open-access SARS-CoV-2 detection assay for laboratory and home testing
Max J. Kellner,
James J Ross,
Marcus P.S. Dekens,
Vienna Covid-19 Diagnostics Initiative (VCDI),
Posted 23 Jun 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.06.23.166397
Posted 23 Jun 2020
Global efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic caused by the beta coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 are currently based on RT-qPCR-based diagnostic tests. However, their high cost, moderate throughput and reliance on sophisticated equipment limit widespread implementation. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification after reverse transcription (RT-LAMP) is an alternative detection method that has the potential to overcome these limitations. Here we present a rapid, robust, highly sensitive and versatile RT-LAMP based SARS-CoV-2 detection assay. Our forty-minute procedure bypasses a dedicated RNA isolation step, is insensitive to carry-over contamination, and uses a hydroxynaphthol blue (HNB)-based colorimetric readout, which allows robust SARS-CoV-2 detection from various sample types. Based on this assay we have substantially increased sensitivity and scalability by a simple nucleic acid enrichment step (bead-LAMP), established a pipette-free version for home testing (HomeDip-LAMP), and developed a version with open source enzymes that could be produced in any molecular biology setting. Our advanced, universally applicable RT-LAMP assay is a major step towards population-scale SARS-CoV-2 testing. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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