This could really be the new frontier of Coronavirus diagnosis. Research has made it possible to invent a particular test. It could happen, in fact, to discover that you have Coronavirus as when you discover you are pregnant. In the paradox of this statement, there is a fund of truth. Because science, in these weeks of great strides to study and test a Covid vaccine, is also considering this possibility. What are we talking about? Of a very simple rapid salivary test, which can detect Covid positivity in a very short time, just like a pregnancy test. The study is entirely Italian, carried out by two researchers, and would be giving the first results.
Two researchers and the progress of the study
Il nuovo strumento di diagnosi è stato realizzato da un’equipe dell’Università dell’Insubria e dell’Asst dei Sette Laghi. L’idea è di Lorenzo Azzi, ricercatore di Odontoiatria, e Mauro Fasano, professore di Biochimica. A coordinare la ricerca il rettore Angelo Tagliabue, professore di Odontostomatologia, e Paolo Grossi, infettivologo. I reagenti e i kit li hanno fatti i laboratori dell’Insubria a Busto Arsizio, con la supervisione della ricercatrice Tiziana Alberio.
Test of the two Italian researchers, here’s how it works
The test, which works as a simple swab, consists of applying a few drops of saliva diluted with a solution on a small strip of absorbent paper. The result in six minutes. And as a pregnancy test if a band is formed the subject is negative; two bands, however, positive.
Experimentation in Varese
The researchers conducted the experimentation in the Microbiology laboratory directed by Fausto Sessa at the Circolo di Varese Hospital. The samples of 137 subjects analyzed from 16 April to 4 May. Two tests for evaluation: molecular and experimental. “The rapid test is simple and safe to use – explains Lorenzo Azzi – and allows an immediate first level screening of the population. The aim is to identify the positive subjects, especially the asymptomatic carriers of the virus, to be sent subsequently to perform the reference diagnostic tests which, based on molecular methods, require the laboratory with longer processing times “.
The NatrixLab of Reggio Emilia will take care of the production. All you need is certification and in this case the time could be long. “Our salivary test – notes Fasano – is so simple that it can really be used by anyone, but the certification for autonomous use requires very long times, while it takes only 15 days to get the one under medical supervision. So the test, like the one serological, it will initially be managed by a healthcare professional, who collaborates for example with the police for checks, or with a company that wants to subject employees to the examination. And we hope that it can also be made available to general practitioners”.