The current lack of expeditious testing for COVID-19 represents a critical diagnostic and therapeutic gap.
This study led by Mark Osborn, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, will determine if a rapid, point of care system operative in his lab can be rapidly adapted and deployed as part of a field-based COVID-19 diagnostic platform that does not require specialized techniques or equipment.
“Our assay will be designed to rapidly test for COVID-19 and then further distinguish between COVID-19 Type I and Type II,” said Osborn.
Type II COVID is believed to be more infectious, so the ability to discriminate between Types I and II can not only help prioritize patients for urgent care, it can provide important information for epidemiologists and policy makers.
“Using rapid nucleic acid isolation, amplification, and detection with our design will give results in one hour. This streamlined approach will help in easing the current test backlog and will be a valuable public health resource, especially in areas where advanced medical and diagnostic infrastructure is not present,” said Osborn.
This project is supported by the UMN Campus Public Health Officer's CO:VID (Collaborative Outcomes: Visionary Innovation & Discovery) grants program, which support University of Minnesota faculty to catalyze and energize small-scale research projects designed to address and mitigate the COVID-19 virus and its associated risks.