ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani scientist, Dr Azeem Mahmood claims to have developed a quick and economical 30 minutes diagnostic test for Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Dr. Azeem Mehmood Butt from COMSATS University Islamabad, is the first Pakistani scientist to report the development of a unique dual-gene LAMP test for the detection of coronavirus.
By using his protocol, up to 96 patients can be tested in 30 min and results can be seen with naked eye.
Dual-gene LAMP method developed by Dr. Azeem Butt has already completed a successful trial in China and showed diagnostic accuracy of 95-100% in comparison to Center for Disease Control (CDC), USA and World Health Organization (WHO) recommended PCR methods.
Identification and isolation of COVID-19 patients and their contacts is crucial to break the chain of ongoing global health crisis.
Therefore, testing lies at forefront of fight against COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, PCR-based detection is the mainstream approach but with certain limitations however, this new technique is cheap and relatively more efficient and can deliver results in half an hour.
LAMP testing is already available for several other infectious diseases and is gaining popularity worldwide as an effective alternative to PCR.
However, several universities and research organizations around the world such as Oxford university, Kings College London , Nagasagi University Japan are working to develop LAMP-based diagnostic tests for the timely and mass-scale testing of coronavirus patients because mass-testing is the only way to break the chain of spread of COVID-19.