COVID-19 is a fast-moving virus, and we’ve had lots of questions about the efficiency of the MyHealthChecked PCR test when it comes to new strains. The good news is that when you choose our COVID test, you’re covered. Here’s the science.
On January the 11th, we were pleased to announce the results of our latest ‘wet-lab’ testing. This is a process we undergo to check the effectiveness of our procedures. We found that the performance of our COVID test – the Clarigene® SARS-CoV-2 assay – is not affected by any currently known* mutations in the VUI-202012/01 strain.
Need more detail?
The wet lab testing followed a detailed in silico (computer) analysis of the mutations in the new SARS-CoV-2 variant, to assess the reliability of the Clarigene® COVID test. Unlike many other assays on the market, the Clarigene® SARS-CoV-2 assay does not rely on amplification of the S gene, where one of the key VUI-202012/01 variants (N501Y) is located, in this new virulent strain.
What happens next?
We’re committed to keeping ahead of the virus, and have put into place an ongoing rigorous internal surveillance programme to ensure continued monitoring for the development of new viral strains.
This includes database monitoring for SARS-CoV-2 variants with mutations in the N and the E gene which fall around the assay primers and probes, as well as impact assessment on these mutations on assay performance, evaluated by in silico analysis and wet lab confirmation.
This – in layperson’s terms – means we’re carefully monitoring how the virus is mutating, and measuring this against our testing methods to make sure that our results are always as reliable as possible.
Penny McCormick, CEO of MyHealthChecked Plc – sums it up:
“Our test provider has publicly verified that the Clarigene® test is not compromised by the recently analysed mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and believes that their ongoing internal surveillance for new virus strains shows their commitment to offering customers the quality products they expect and deserve.”
*Correct at date of original press release publication – 11/1/21.