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Swift coronavirus test method found effective

  • April 17, 2020
  • , The Japan News , 5:14 p.m.
  • English Press

Saitama Medical University Hospital has released a report that says the LAMP gene amplification method, developed by Eiken Chemical Co., is effective in detecting coronavirus infections.


According to the report available on the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases’ website, the LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) method developed by the Tokyo-based maker of medical reagents offers nearly the same accuracy as the widely used PCR testing system but with shorter examination times.


It takes four to six hours for the PCR testing to deliver results due to the pretreated specimens from the infected persons needing to be repeatedly cooled and heated to amplify the coronavirus genes.


The LAMP method, however, is said to require only an hour to obtain test results, including the time needed for pretreatment, as it allows gene amplification at a constant temperature.


According to the report, 76 specimens collected from the lining of the nose or throat of patients were tested for the virus under both the PCR and LAMP methods at the hospital. Thirty-two specimens tested positive under the LAMP method, and 30 under the PCR testing.


“The LAMP method is highly useful,” a hospital official said.


The reagent for LAMP method tests, manufactured by Eiken, became covered under public health insurance as of March 18. The inspection equipment has already been put to use at roughly 500 medical institutions and organizations in the nation.

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