Eurofins Technologies has introduced a new multiplex reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay for SARS-CoV-2 screening and detection of the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of concern.

The new GSD NovaType Detect + Select K417N SARS-CoV-2 test is intended to simultaneously detect SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA as well as spike (S) mutation K417N, which is specifically used to detect the emerging Omicron variant.

The company developed the new RT-PCR kit within just one week of the new variant’s discovery as a rapid response to identify the presence of Omicron.

It uses nasal wash/swab, nasopharyngeal swab or oropharyngeal swab specimen types and provides results within one hour.

The new RT-PCR assay is claimed to be a rapid and cost-effective solution for detecting the Omicron variant before samples are confirmed by whole-genome sequencing.

In a separate development, the company has introduced a new wastewater diagnostic kit to detect SARS-CoV-2, as well as the emerging Omicron variant, in wastewater.

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The new VIRSeek SARS-CoV-2 Mplex I and Mplex II Wastewater real-time RT-PCR kits are intended to detect genes for the specific identification of SARS-CoV-2.

It features primer/probe sets that will assess process parameters, such as the efficiency of nucleic acid extraction, a specific water quality indicator or the matrix inhibition impact.

The new diagnostic kit is designed to be used by analytical laboratories to analyse SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater samples for quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) testing.

The addition of VIRSeek SARS-CoV-2 Mplex I and Mplex II Wastewater real-time RT-PCR kits to the VIRSeek real-time RT-PCR kit-family to detect SARS-CoV-2 boosts the company’s SARS-CoV-2 solution offering.

Eurofins Technologies stated that the VIRSeek family, which uses the VIRSeek RNAExtractor AE1 kit, will also include viral concentration workflow and subsequent lysis as well as isolation of the viral SARS-CoV-2 RNA.

The European Commission has recommended the implementation of effective systems to detect SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater.

In June, Eurofins Technologies launched GSD NovaType III SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assay to quickly identify the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617, which was first detected in India.