South Korea-based biotech Seegene has introduced a new multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that can screen for six emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the Delta and Delta Plus variants.

The Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Variants II Assay obtained CE mark last month to detect key genetic mutations of the viral variants, including L452R, W152C, K417T and K417N.

The variants diagnostic kit can detect Delta, Delta Plus, Kappa, Gamma, Beta and Epsilon variants of the virus in a single reaction.

It can identify ten major Covid-19 variants when used along with Seegene’s variants detection kit, Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Variants I Assay, which was introduced in March.

Recently, Delta and Delta Plus variants have been causing a surge in Covid-19 cases across the world.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had categorised the Delta variant as the ‘variant of concern’ earlier this year, as it can potentially outcompete other variants quickly.

Apart from the Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Variants II Assay, Seegene has created a research-use-only diagnostic test, Allplex SARS-CoV-2/P681R Assay, which can accurately target the Delta and Delta Plus variants.

Seegene noted the combination of these two assays will aid researchers to differentiate the Delta and Delta Plus variants from multiple other genetic mutations.

Seegene chief technology officer Min-cheol Lee said: “An increased transmissibility, short incubation period and a potential reduction in vaccine efficacy are the characteristics of the Delta and Delta Plus variants.

“While experts and the WHO are largely cautioning the public and governments to remain watchful, I believe that our latest two diagnostic tests will play a key role in the early detection of different viruses and help prevent the further spread of SARS-CoV-2.”

In February, Seegene reported that its less-invasive Covid-19 saliva test is as accurate as the nasopharyngeal specimen test, according to a study.

Separately, GT Molecular has commenced shipment of its sensitive PCR tests to detect the Delta variant.

Apart from SARS-CoV-2 variant tests, GT molecular has tests and PCR kits for influenza A/B detection, which aid researchers and officials in precisely screening community pathogen levels and making robust data-based decisions.