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China's BGI develops rapid testing kit for B.1.1.7 variant strain
Published: Jan 05, 2021 11:57 AM

Genetic testing laboratory of BGI Group, a genome sequencing company, in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province. Photo: VCG


 
A unit under China's genetics firm BGI on Tuesday confirmed it has developed a rapid testing kit for the new B.1.1.7 variant strain. Cases testing positive for coronavirus can further undergo the B.1.1.7 variant test, with results provided within an hour.

The kit uses the ARMS-qPCR method designed for specific amplification of the core mutation site N501Y of the B.1.1.7 strain, combined with fluorescent probe signals, to quickly identify wild-type and mutant virus strains, according a statement BGI sent to the Global Times on Tuesday.

The COVID-19 B.1.1.7 variant, which has been spreading quickly in the UK, is more transmissible. China has confirmed on Sunday a second imported case of the variant in South China's Guangdong Province. Shanghai authorities announced on Friday that the genetic sequencing of an imported case confirmed on December 16 was found to be similar to that of the variant detected in the UK.

BGI has sent coronavirus detection kits to 26 countries and regions in the world including Brunei, India and Japan, and has also received authorization from US and Europe.

Global Times 


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