New mass spectrometry-based test recognizes coronavirus in wash arrangements of patients

New mass spectrometry-based test recognizes coronavirus in wash arrangements of patients


  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra

  • Source: Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

  • Date: 16 Jul,2020

Pharmacists in Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have succeeded in detecting small amounts of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 utilizing mass spectrometry. Because of their own investigation , they used naturopathic remedies of COVID-19 patients. The publication method might supplement conventional tests. It’s undergoing developments and could be available as standard diagnostic tool for COVID-19 in the future. Initial results are released in the Journal of Proteome Research.

The most obvious test method getting used to find whether someone is affected with an acute COVID-19 disease is the polymerase chain reaction, or even briefly, PCR. The PCR technique is highly special as it detects the viral genome. Alternative tests detect antibodies against this disorder. As antibodies are generated in your system during the length of the infection, they can only be used to detect a past illness or an advanced stage of the disease. Antibody tests are often nonspecific and sometimes struggling to distinguish between different corona viruses which can affect humans. Testing labs worldwide are therefore achieving the limits of these capacities.

We directly measure the proteins of the virus, not the genetic material.”

Professor Andrea Sinz, Mass Spectrometry Expert, Institute of Pharmacy at MLU

Professor Andrea Sinza mass-spectrometry expert at the Institute of Pharmacy in MLU, had the idea of developing a fresh mass spectrometry-based evaluation to complement PCR. Mass spectrometry enables molecules to be just identified based on their mass and control. Sinz and her colleagues developed a process to look for the different parts of SARS-CoV-2 viruses.

For the experiments, University Medicine Halle provided gargle solutions of three COVID-19 patients. Sinz’s research group developed a process to detect virus components in those highly diluted samples. “Though we received only a little bit of gargle solution, we could detect components of viral proteins,” says Dr Christian Ihling, that completed the tests. “This was quite surprising, and I hadn’t expected this to work myself,” Sinz adds. The test is highly specific to the virus as the corresponding proteins are only contained in SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the evaluation may be utilised in early stages of this disease when many viruses are found in the throat and mouth.

Based on Sinz, the evaluation currently takes about fifteen minutes. The investigation group is currently hoping to significantly reduce the analysis time using artificially generated virus parts. Sinz is also looking for further collaborations, for example companies.

“Using an organization from Hesse, we’re likely to use yet another mass spectrometric system that would empower us to execute measurements within minutes”. This method would then be much like alleged”biotyping”, and it is an established method used by physicians to diagnose bacterial or fungal diseases. Yet it must be seen if this process is also appropriate for discovering SARS-CoV-2. Sample preparation wouldn’t longer be time-consuming and the dimensions might also be carried out by non-specialized employees.

The novel diagnostic method relying on mass-spectrometry will however not be available immediately. Sinz expects that it will be up and ready in a few months. “I am in touch with colleagues worldwide, a few of whom have had a far worse connection with this pandemic than we’ve got” She’s also a founding member of the”COVID-19 mass-spectrometry Coalition”, a research association that relies on mass spectrometry at a better understanding of the disease.

Journal reference:

Ihling, C., et al. (2020) Mass Spectrometric Identification of SARS-CoV-2 Proteins from Gargle Solution Samples of COVID-19 Patients. Journal of Proteome Research.

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