EU: New test methodology to help ensure faster detection of Omicron

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The European Commission Joint Research Center, confirmed the validity of its specific detection method “Omicron” developed. All laboratories that perform molecular tests could use this new method to detect and identify “Micron” without the need for costly and time-consuming sequencing.

“To continue tackling COVID-19, we need the most effective and up-to-date tools provided by science. With the rapid spread of more contagious variants such as Omicron, the need for accurate diagnosis is as important as ever. “The new test methodology presented today by our Joint Research Center will help ensure faster detection of the Omicron variant and reduce the burden on Member States’ sequencing capabilities.” stressed the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakidou, adding that “in this way, we can better understand the spread of Omicron, isolate cases more effectively and reduce the already significant pressure on our health systems.”

THE Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, responsible for Joint Research Center, Maria Gabriel, noted that this new method provides opportunities for faster and cheaper detection of Omicron and will allow better detection of the new variant spreading in the EU and worldwide. Science has proven to be an essential ingredient in our fight against COVID-19. “I am grateful for the tireless work of all scientists during this pandemic and beyond.”

The new PCR method proved to be extremely effective in tests specific to “Micron” conducted by the Joint Research Center. This practically means that the method enables any laboratory operating standard PCR technology to recognize this variant quickly and without the need for time-consuming sequencing. The center-modified modified reagent can be ordered from regular PCR test vendors and can be applied quickly. Any laboratory that performs molecular tests today will be able to adapt quickly. This new method will be presented today in the Member States to the Committee on Health Safety.

Response: Irini Zarkadoula, Brussels

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