LISTEN | Wits develops solution for safer, more accurate Covid-19 testing

05 November 2020 - 11:29
A team from Wits University’s Centre for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research (CBTBR) has developed a unique “control standard” for Covid-19 testing, which aims to ensure that testing is independently verified to ensure its accuracy for diagnostic testing platforms.
A team from Wits University’s Centre for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research (CBTBR) has developed a unique “control standard” for Covid-19 testing, which aims to ensure that testing is independently verified to ensure its accuracy for diagnostic testing platforms.
Image: 123rf/Monchai Tudsamalee

A team from Wits University’s Centre for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research (CBTBR) has developed a unique “control standard” for Covid-19 testing.

This development aims to ensure that testing is independently verified to ensure its accuracy for diagnostic testing platforms.

The team, headed up by Prof Bavesh Kana, used a biomimicry technique to engineer a control organism that mimics the genetic material of the virus when used in diagnostic tests kits.

This control is a safer, more accurate and does not cause diseases.

Kana said that accuracy testing controls are central to the deployment of any successful diagnostic test.

“The virus continues to spread viciously across countries, with infections again rising rapidly across Europe and North America. In order for governments to halt its spread, reliable tools with verifiable results are of utmost importance.

“Without appropriate controls to report whether tests are delivering the correct result, diagnosing and effectively managing Covid-19 will be very difficult, if not impossible,” said Kana.

The team has previously contributed to the development of this biomimicry technique-based control standard for diagnostics for drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) and started with a fast-tracked research programme to develop the SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic control as early as February this year.

LISTEN TO PROF KANA HERE:

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