Researchers from the University of Brasília have developed new technology to identify coronavirus variants present in PCR and RT-PCR tests. Whereas previous methods were expensive and time-consuming, this new technique takes up to just two and a half hours and is roughly 90 percent cheaper.
Studies were carried out in May on more than 800 positive Covid-19 samples taken from professionals and patients at the university’s hospital and residents of the district of Estrutural, on the outskirts of the federal capital.
The technique consists of analyzing the virus’s genotype, accounting for the specific mutations of the Alpha, Gamma, and Delta variants. The same analysis today requires sequencing the sample, which demands more infrastructure and personnel.
The goal is to provide the foundations for health systems to better understand the progression of the disease, and for local governments to take appropriate measures.
Results of studies so far indicate how Sars-COV-2 has developed in Brazil’s Federal District. In July, 79 percent of patients had been infected with the Gamma variant, while Delta made up 56 percent of cases the following month, and 88 percent in September.