Microbiology Insider

Dear Microbiology Insider,

Diagnostic tests based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are the gold standard for diagnosing individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection. But should PCR be the only game in town?

Perhaps not. A new study has investigated CRISPR-based methods for SARS-CoV-2 testing and screening, finding that they worked just as well as PCR-based technology. The advantage of CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 testing is that it would use common and widely available reagents and is adaptable to minimal instrumentation and infrastructure.

In other news in our Microbiology Community, contributing writer Emily Hayes took a look back at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, one year after the SARS-CoV-2 virus began appearing in the U.S. She reviewed what went right -- and what went wrong -- in the response by public health authorities, diagnostics vendors, and lab medicine professionals.

Unfortunately, it seems that no one was prepared for the magnitude of the pandemic that resulted. While many watched with trepidation the developments going on in early 2020 in Wuhan, China, few expected the massive loss of life and social disruption that the novel coronavirus eventually caused. Hopefully, we'll all be better prepared next time.

In other news, researchers from the University of Washington have developed biosensors to detect SARS-CoV-2 proteins and antibodies in simulated nasal fluids and human sera, pioneering another potential approach to coronavirus testing that could be cheaper than current techniques.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically boosted the market for molecular point-of-care (mPOC) diagnostics, with the segment projected to produce $900 million in revenues, according to a report by Kalorama Information.

Get these stories and more in your Microbiology Community!

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