UK-based Avacta Group has confirmed that its AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen lateral flow test can detect the dominant new variants of the coronavirus and the original strain.

The new test can detect SARS-CoV-2 new variants known as the B117, or ‘Kent’, variant and the D614G variant.

As a result of the mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus into slightly different variants, some of these variants are said to be more infectious and rapidly transmissible and have the potential to become dominant strains.

In the initial stage of the Covid-19 pandemic, the variant was referred to as D614G, which quickly became the dominant strain across the world.

The B117 variant was first detected in Kent and was prevalent in the UK. It was also found in more than 50 countries.

Cambridge University Public Health and Microbiology professor Sharon Peacock said that the B117 variant is likely to become the next dominant strain globally.

Avacta has carried out analytical tests with the spike proteins, which are isolated from both B117 and D614G variants.

Therefore, it has confirmed that its AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen lateral flow test detects both variants and the original strain.

Avacta Group CEO Alastair Smith said: “We will continue to monitor the performance of the Affimer reagents with future dominant variants as they become available to us.

“Since the Affimer reagents we use in Avacta’s range of SARS-CoV-2 tests do not bind in the region of the spike protein where the dominant mutations appear, we do not anticipate that the performance of the tests will be affected.

“Now that we have developed a robust lateral flow test architecture, we can easily insert Affimer reagents that can be very rapidly developed for new variants if necessary, and indeed, in response to any other future pandemic virus.”