Colorimetric Reverse Transcription–Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Assay for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2

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  • 1 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia;
  • 2 Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been spreading rapidly all over the world. In the absence of effective treatments or a vaccine, there is an urgent need to develop a more rapid and simple detection technology of COVID-19. We describe a WarmStart colorimetric reverse transcription–loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. The detection limit for this assay was 1 copy/µL SARS-CoV-2. To test the clinical sensitivity and specificity of the assay, 37 positive and 20 negative samples were used. The WarmStart colorimetric RT-LAMP had 100% sensitivity and specificity. End products were detected by direct observation, thereby eliminating the need for post-amplification processing steps. WarmStart colorimetric RT-LAMP provides an opportunity to facilitate virus detection in resource-limited settings without a sophisticated diagnostic infrastructure.

Author Notes

Address Correspondence to Yee Ling Lau, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. E-mail: lauyeeling@um.edu.my

Financial support: This study was supported by the Prototype Research Grant Scheme (PR001-2020B) from the Ministry of Education, Malaysia.

Authors’ addresses: Meng Yee Lai and Yee Lin Lau, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, E-mails: mengylai11@yahoo.com and lauyeeling@um.edu.my. Soo Nee Tang, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, E-mail: tang.soonee@ummc.edu.my.

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