Eurofins Technologies has introduced its GSD NovaType III SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assay for quick identification of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617, which was first detected in India.

The assay can also identify other SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, which include B.1.427/B.1.429 (California, US), B.1.351 (South Africa) and P.1 (Brazil).

The test can detect related mutations E484Q, E484K and L452R in a single reaction and simultaneously distinguish from the S gene E484 wildtype variant.

These mutations are linked to reports of possibly lowered efficacy of some vaccines and a hike in the Covid-19 virus transmissibility, Eurofins noted.

The latest assay is an addition to the GSD NovaType product line, which includes single and multiplex assays to diagnose and identify emerging variants of concern and of interest on positive samples.

These assays could help fight Covid-19 via quick detection of new variants that could impact global inoculation campaigns as well as deployment of isolation, testing and vaccination processes in affected regions, the company added.

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By 9 June, GSD NovaType III SARS-CoV-2 will be available for research use while a CE marked version is anticipated in the coming weeks.

In a separate development, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has granted approval to US-based Abbott Rapid Diagnostics’ at-home rapid antigen test kit.

The PanBio Covid19 Antigen Test Device is a self-use kit that secured provisional approval till 5 July. The kit’s price is yet to be announced by the company.

Last month, the ICMR granted approval to Mylab Discovery Solutions’ CoviSelf test kit. The first home-based test approved in India, each kit costs $3.42 (Rs250).

The ICMR has given an advisory on the usage of self-test kits. The rapid antigen test is recommended only for use in symptomatic people and immediate contacts of lab-confirmed positive Covid-19 cases.