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Semmelweis helps develop faster, cost-effective PCR tests

Semmelweis University (SE) has been involved in testing a new diagnostic procedure, a one-step PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) test that detects coronavirus faster and easier, the medical university announced in a statement, according to novekedes.hu.

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Rector Béla Merkely said the new tests, developed in Hungary, give faster results, tie up less specialist capacity and are expected to be more cost-effective, therefore SE will use these tests in increasing numbers in the future.

Barna Vásárhelyi, director of the Institute of Laboratory Medicine at SE, said that classical PCR testing is based on RNA (Ribonucleic acid) detection of virus extracted from a sample. RNA extraction requires a time-consuming, costly process that takes several hours, a reagent, and a dedicated professional. In addition, manufacturing companies are often unable to deliver the reagent in the right amount and on time, he added.

That is why there is a huge need for a test that does not require RNA to be extracted, but to detect the virus directly from the sample taken, he pointed out.