Phone swabs can accurately detect COVID-19

23-Jun-2021 12:10 PM EDT, by University College London

Newswise — An accurate, non-invasive, and low-cost method of testing for COVID-19 using samples taken from the screens of mobile phones has been developed by a team led by UCL researchers at Diagnosis Biotech.

The study, published in eLife and led by Dr Rodrigo Young (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology), analysed swabs from smartphone screens rather than directly from people, and found that people who tested positive by the regular nasal swabbing PCRs were also positive when samples were taken from phone screens.

The new method - known as Phone Screen Testing (PoST) - detected the COVID-19 virus on the phones of 81 to 100% of contagious people with a high viral load, suggesting it is as accurate as antigen lateral flow tests.

Globally active screening for COVID-19 is still a priority as new variants keep emerging and the vaccination rollout is not guaranteed in many countries. However, testing is expensive and can be physically unpleasant, both of which are significant hurdles on the road to an effective test and trace system.

As PoST is an environmental test, rather than a clinical test, it is both non-invasive and less expensive that a traditional nasal swabbing PCR. This means not only is it suitable for rollout in lower-income countries, but it also removes the discomfort of current COVID-19 testing options, potentially increasing take-up of regular testing among the general population. In addition, PoST sampling takes less than a minute and does not require medical personnel, which eases mass adoption in big facilities and large-scale applications.

Dr Rodrigo Young said: "Like many, I was very worried about the economic and social impact that the pandemic would leave behind, particularly in lower-income countries. We knew that the only effective way to stop the spreading is to regularly test as many people as possible, but this was not happening because it's too expensive and uncomfortable.

"We immediately knew this was something special, as PoST is a method that would not only make COVID-19 mass testing much easier but could also be used to contain outbreaks of new naturally occurring and man-made viruses, to avoid future pandemics."

Diagnosis Biotech, a Chilean startup founded by UCL's Dr Young, has been performing COVID-19 screenings in companies and schools in Chile to avoid outbreaks and maintain operational continuity, as frequent measurement of all workers or students allows the early identification of asymptomatic people and helps to control the spread of the virus.

A machine is currently under development by Diagnosis Biotech which will build on this research, safely taking a phone for PoST sampling and deliver the results directly via SMS to minimise contact.

###

SEE ORIGINAL STUDY



Filters close

Showing results

110 of 6054
access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 26-Jul-2021 11:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 23-Jul-2021 5:05 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 26-Jul-2021 11:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Newswise: NIH Chooses University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to Head Project for Its Safe Return to In-Person School Initiative
Released: 23-Jul-2021 12:15 PM EDT
NIH Chooses University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to Head Project for Its Safe Return to In-Person School Initiative
University of Miami Health System, Miller School of Medicine

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is helping to lead a National Institutes of Health (NIH) COVID-19 testing initiative to safely return children to in-person school.

Released: 23-Jul-2021 11:40 AM EDT
New 'Atlas' Charts How Antibodies Attack Spike Protein Variants
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

As the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 continues to evolve, immunologists and infectious diseases experts are eager to know whether new variants are resistant to the human antibodies that recognized initial versions of the virus.

23-Jul-2021 8:55 AM EDT
COVID Variants and a Surge Among the Unvaccinated: Live Expert Panel for July 23rd, 2021
Newswise

Panelists will discuss the threat posed by new COVID variants and continued vaccine hesitancy.

Released: 22-Jul-2021 4:05 PM EDT
COVID-19: Patients with Malnutrition May Be More Likely to Have Severe Outcomes
Scientific Reports

Adults and children with COVID-19 who have a history of malnutrition may have an increased likelihood of death and the need for mechanical ventilation, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 27-Jul-2021 4:05 PM EDT Released to reporters: 22-Jul-2021 3:05 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 27-Jul-2021 4:05 PM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 26-Jul-2021 4:05 PM EDT Released to reporters: 22-Jul-2021 2:45 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 26-Jul-2021 4:05 PM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 22-Jul-2021 2:35 PM EDT
New Insights Into Uncontrolled Inflammation in COVID-19 Patients
Queen Mary University of London

In a new study, published recently in the journal Circulation Research, scientists discover how the production of protective molecules known as specialised pro-resolving mediators (SPM) is altered in patients with COVID-19.

Released: 22-Jul-2021 2:30 PM EDT
度假旅行者需要了解的COVID-19相关信息
Mayo Clinic

许多人会利用国家法定假日出门旅行或举办聚会。由于仍有许多人需要接种COVID-19疫苗以及传染性更强的Delta变种疫苗,因此健康专家建议,如果您计划旅行或召集很多人聚会,请务必谨慎。


Showing results

110 of 6054

close
3.30237