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Diagnosing Omicron Variant


ALS Life Sciences testing kits are effective at detecting Omicron variant

The effectiveness of ALS’s real-time RT-PCR and RT-LAMP kits is not affected by the newly reported SARS-CoV-2 variant, B.1.1.529 lineage, designated as Omicron.

Omicron was designated as a variant of concern (VOC) by the World Health Organization as it contains a large number of mutations, most of which in the spike protein gene (S). Preliminary evidence suggested an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, when compared to other VOCs. The emergence of Omicron is now forcing new restrictions and its impact on vaccines and detection methods is currently being investigated. 

ALS’s kits allow the detection of SARS-CoV-2 by identifying the presence of the ORF1ab, N and E viral genes. As the majority of Omicron’s mutations are on the S gene, the kits’ targets should not be affected. ALS tested the kits using Omicron positive reference materials and confirmed that it does not affect the accuracy of the assays nor the sensitivity. All these tests were designed to target genes less prone to mutation which compensates for emerging VOCs thus meeting the various needs and challenges arising from the current pandemic.


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