Qiagen has reaffirmed the effectiveness of its SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests in detecting the new Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529, named Omicron.

The company made the claim after assessing its PCR tests against the genetic mutations of the emerging new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which was first detected in South Africa.

The assessment was carried out using data available in the GenBank and GISAID public databases.

The company stated that its PCR tests, specifically the artus SARS-CoV-2 Prep&Amp UM Kit, QIAstat-Dx syndromic testing system, and NeuMoDx 96 and 288, have been assessed for the detection of the new SARS-CoV-2 virus variant.

It also noted that the QIAcuity digital PCR solution and QIAprep&amp Viral RNA kit can reliably identify the variant.

The fully integrated QIAcuity digital PCR system uses a SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance test, which was developed in partnership with GT Molecular. QIAprep&amp Viral RNA kit uses qPCR genotyping assays.

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Qiagen chief medical officer Dr Davide Manissero said: “The best way to fight the global Covid-19 pandemic is a combination of extensive vaccinations, rigorous testing with gold-standard PCR tests, aggressive surveillance of new variants and, above all, compassionate treatment for those infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“We are pleased to report that the emergence of this new variant of concerns, as has been the case with other variants, has had no impact on the effectiveness of our SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests.

“Further genomic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 samples worldwide will vastly increase transparency and help us identify and respond to potentially dangerous mutations of the virus, while at the same time broadening the database we can use to verify if vaccines and tests continue to be effective.”

Earlier this month, the company’s QIAstat-Dx Respiratory 4 Plex Flu A-B/RSV/SARS-CoV-2 test received the CE mark.

The company announced its plans to introduce the new test in the European market soon.