APTAKIT: Rapid, multiplex, signal-enhanced, aptamer-based, lateral flow test for SARS-CoV-2 detection in human and animal samples
Despite the fact that antigen rapid tests (Ag-RDT) have revealed themselves as an useful diagnostic method, they require high viral loads in early phases of infection,,,,. This limits their diagnostic potential and, to date, there are no Ag-RDT specifically authorized for asymptomatic testing, even when the role of asymptomatic and super-spread hosts is well reported,,,. For those cases, PCR remains as the gold standard, even when this method is not enough to contain disease spread due its requirements (time, skilled personnel, specific reagents, etc). Therefore, improved Ag-RDT test able to accurately detect asymptomatic cases are needed.
In addition, other diagnostic issues remain unsolved. SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has a zoonotic origin, which means that transmission between different species is possible and will remain as a potential threat in the future. Therefore, even if the pandemic remitted, we would need novel diagnostic methods to identify natural reservoirs of the virus in different species, especially those which interact with humans and those economically exploitable.
Lincbiotech has developed high-affinity aptamers to the Spike and Nucleocpaside protein and a rapid viral protein detection test for SARS-CoV-2 in nasal swaps and it intends to improve this technology to address these two unmet needs:
- The development and validation in clinical settings of a novel test en saliva samples (Aptakit) with high sensitivity and specificity, based on aptamer-based signal enhancement techniques and multiple proteins detection.
- The adaptation of this technology to the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in animal samples, with veterinary purposes, thus contributing to avoid future outbreaks.
Should the objectives of this project are successfully achieved, we will open the door to use these tests as a true “mass detection weapon” to fight against the transmission of the disease, avoid future outbreaks and facilitate economic recovery.
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