UNamur has developed a screening test for Covid-19.
It is no secret that in the fight against Covid-19, screening is one of the essential elements. And for that, it is necessary to carry out tests which, for the time being, all use the same reagents, hence the shortage.
Professor Benoit Muylkens, a virologist at the University of Namur (UNamur), has developed an analytical method based on a technique for extracting RNA (genetic information from the virus). This requires an extraction hood, a centrifuge at 4°C and a basic reagent, made in Belgium and available in large quantities.
Apart from expertise, this process requires a lot of manpower; 24 researchers and logisticians are on standby for diagnoses. The aim is to achieve 500 tests per day, just at UNamur.
This increase in the number of tests "will make it possible to target new epicentres of propagation, restore the confidence of front-line doctors in the system and also protect doctors and care staff," according to Benoît Muylkens. The main advantage of the test is that it is easily reproducible. UNamur is sharing its technique by providing it to laboratories around the world.
Fifteen days after its launch, it is used throughout the world, including in France, England, USA, Bolivia and Colombia, and is 99% reliable, requiring six hours of work to obtain a result.
A small glimmer of hope in the fight against Covid-19