Chinese university develops rapid test kit for coronavirus

A staff member working in a laboratory specialised in nucleic acid tests on the coronavirus, in Wuhan, China, on Feb 6, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TIANJIN (XINHUA) - China's Nankai University has announced a breakthrough in developing a coronavirus rapid test kit that can identify infection among suspected patients within 15 minutes.

The new virus detection product, called Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) IgM/IgG antibody detection kit, was developed by the century-old university based in northern China's Tianjin, with a group of experts from other Chinese universities and biopharmaceutical companies.

The fast test card, part of the kit, can detect the virus in just 15 minutes.

The test kit can shorten the testing time, provide easier and faster operation and make rapid diagnosis of suspected patients and on-site screening of people in close contact, the university said in a statement.

Last week, China's Ministry of Science and Technology solicited research projects on rapid test kits for the coronavirus, saying that current nucleic acid detection reagents take a long time and have intricate operations. They are unable to meet the fast-growing needs of the quick testing on suspected patients and asymptomatic infections.

A number of research teams across China are developing or have developed rapid testing products for the coronavirus.

The Nankai test kit is expected to be used in epidemic prevention and control soon, the university said.

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