Norway ready to implement a new method that identifies mutated viruses much faster

Virus-sequencing-testingPhoto: Heiko Junge / NTB

Already during the week, laboratories will be able to start analyzing corona samples in a way that determines whether they contain a mutated virus more quickly.

By looking for a specific change that occurs in all three known mutations of the coronavirus – the British, South African, and Brazilian – the testing laboratories should be able to identify the mutations much faster, according to Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

The method should be able to be used already during this week.

With the analysis method used today, it can take two to three days to determine whether a positive sample contains a mutated virus. 

Since the virus mutations spread significantly faster than the original coronavirus, the time aspect is central in the attempt to slow down and control outbreaks.

Much faster

The new method is much faster, but it fails to distinguish between the three mutations. 

However, in practice, that has little significance now as only the British mutation is in circulation in Norway.

“Our method finds all three variants, but it can not distinguish between the variants as it is now,” section leader Karoline Bragstad at the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) noted.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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