Budapest, Hungary-based Eurofins Technologies has rolled out a new multiplex RT-PCR assay for SARS-CoV-2 screening and detection of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529).

The GSD NovaType Detect + Select K417N SARS-CoV-2 test is designed to detect SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA and identify the spike (S) mutation K417N, in a single reaction.

It delivers results within one hour, and is said to be a rapid and cost-effective solution for identifying the Omicron variant, prior to whole genome sequencing.

According to the company, its new RT-PCR assay has been developed as a rapid response to identify the emerging Omicron variant, within one week from its discovery.

In a separate development, Eurofins has also introduced two new RT-PCR kits to detect SARS-CoV-2 virus in wastewater, including emerging Omicron variant.

The VIRSeek SARS-CoV-2 Mplex I and Mplex II Wastewater real-time RT-PCR kits are designed detect genes to specifically identify SARS-CoV-2.

Also, the primer-probes sets will evaluate the nucleic acid extraction efficiency, a water quality indicator to assess the impact of matrix inhibition.

The new solution is intended to be used by analytical laboratories for SARS-CoV-2 analysis in wastewater samples as part of quality control (QC), and quality assurance (QA) testing.

Eurofins said that the new addition to VIRSeek real-time RT-PCR kit-family of tests would enhance its SARS-CoV-2 Solution offering.

Also, the VIRSeek family of real-time RT-PCR kits will also incorporate viral concentration workflow and subsequent lysis and isolation of the viral SARS-CoV-2 RNA.

The RT-PCR tests leverage the VIRSeek RNAExtractor AE kit for automated platforms.

Wastewater-based epidemiology is an important approach to monitor the profile of SARS-CoV-2 infections in densely populated localities, said the company.

According to data, concentration of viral RNA is associated with trends in reported Covid-19 cases, showing the importance of wastewater testing as a public health tool.

The European Commission (EC) has recommended the implementation of effective systems for the surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater, said the company.

Eurofins Technologies is a provider of diagnostic technologies and ELISA-based instruments for the food, feed, environmental, animal health, and clinical diagnostics industries.