Comparison of COVID-19 Detection Technologies

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have not understood various detection methods, including nucleic acid detection, antibody detection, and antigen detection. This article mainly compares those detection methods.

Nucleic acid detection is currently the "gold standard" for the detection of novel coronavirus and is currently the main method of testing in China. Nucleic acid detection has high requirements for detection equipment, laboratory cleanliness and operators, and high-sensitivity PCR equipment is expensive, and the detection time is relatively long. Therefore, although it is a method for diagnosis, it is not applicable for large-scale rapid screening under the condition of lack of hardware.

Compared with nucleic acid detection, the current rapid detection methods mainly include antigen detection and antibody detection. The antigen detection checks whether there are pathogens in the body, while the antibody detection checks whether the body has developed resistance to the pathogen after infection.

At present, antibody detection usually detects IgM and IgG antibodies in human serum. After the virus invades the human body, it takes about 5-7 days for IgM antibodies to be produced, and IgG antibodies are produced in 10-15 days. Therefore, there is a greater chance of missed detection with antibody detection, and it is likely that the detected patient has infected many people.

Figure 1:NEWGENE Antibody Detection Product

Compared with antibody detection, antigen detection can generally detect the virus in the incubation period, acute phase or early stage of the disease, and does not require laboratory environment and professional operations. Antigen detection is especially suitable for scenarios where professional detection medical equipment and professionals are lacking. It is of great significance for early detection and early treatment of patients with COVID-19 pandemic.

Figure 2:NEWGENE Antigen Detection Product

The Novel Coronavirus Spike Protein Detection Kit developed and produced by NEWGENE is one of the earliest antigen detection products developed in China. It has been registered by the British Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), obtained the EU CE certification, and successfully included in the "export allow list" of Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

The product not only retains the advantages of rapid detection, simple operation, low cost, and good stability, but also greatly improves detection specificity and accuracy. At the same time, this technology is versatile in detecting coronaviruses mediated by the ACE2 receptor. Even if the virus undergoes mutations, the detection kit can be quickly put into application without waiting for the development of new antibodies, which provides an important technical support for future anti-epidemic work.