FMBA develops test system for detecting Stealth Omicron
MOSCOW. March 18 (Interfax) - The Center for Strategic Planning and Management of Biomedical Health Risks of the Federal Medical Biological Agency (CSPFMBA) developed and received a registration certificate for a test system capable of detecting genetic variants of the Omicron coronavirus strain, determining the Stealth and Sub-variants, the agency press service said.
"The Russian Federal Medical Biological Agency has developed a test system detecting mutations of the virus SARS-CoV-2 - Omicron and the new line, Stealth Omicron," the Federal Medical Biological Agency said in a report published on the agency site on Friday.
The CSPFMBA has received a registration certificate for a test system that is capable of detecting genetic variants of the Omicron coronavirus strain with the differentiation of line BA.2 - so-called Stealth and Delta, the report said.
CSPFMBA head Veronika Skvortsova said the set of reagents developed by the center's experts helps not only detect Stealth Omicron, but also to differentiate it from the Omicron BA.1 line and Delta.
"The registered test system is highly sensitive: up to 1,000 copies per milliliter and it has 100% specificity. The study is performed using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. It takes no more than 1.5 hours to detect a specific strain," Skvortsova said.
With the appearance of the coronavirus, the CSPFMBA created and registered an accurate and efficient sets of reagents, AmpliTest, within a short period of time. They are highly sensitive and specific for determining coronavirus RNA and determining the main epidemiologically significant genetic lines of Covid-19 - Alfa, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron, it said.
"The new set, which makes it possible to detect and differentiate genetic variants of Omicron with differentiation of Stealth Omicron and Delta, is another set in the line of sets developed by the Center for Strategic Planning and Management of Biomedical Health Risks of the Federal Medical Biological Agency," the report said.
AmpliTest sets demonstrate high indicators of analytical sensitivity, which make it possible to detect coronavirus RNA even in the incubation period and in symptomless carriers, the press service said.
Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko earlier said the Omicron sub-variant BA.2, which is called Stealth, has a high chance of becoming the predominant strain due to its high contagiousness.