CONQUEST (COroNavirus QUick and Easy Saliva/swab Test)
University of Nottingham, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
Diagnostic technologies for identification of SARS-CoV-2 from human nasal, buccal, or saliva samples
Tech Brief: CONQUEST has potential to be deployed as the first point-of-care test for Covid19 detection. Using RT-qPCR modified protocols (patent pending), our method is accurate (>90% sensitivity, 100% specificity), cheap and scalable. It works directly on heat-inactivated saliva/swab samples to deliver a diagnosis in < 45 minutes.
FIGURES OF MERIT Value Proposition: The whole population forms the market for CONQUEST. The value of CONQUEST lies in: Originality: it is the first POC test using the gold-standard RT-qPCR Accuracy: it has much better performance than currently available POC tests Speed: it has a sample-to-result time of <45 minutes. With further developments, we aim to reduce this to 30 minutes Scalability: It can be scaled for mass testing, using existing equipment and infrastructure Cost: It uses cheap, easily available chemicals and equipment and it is therefore low cost Simplicity in testing: It is a very simple test with few steps involved and which would require little technical training. This would facilitate deployment into the community Simplicity in analysis: For each sample, the result is in the form of an automatically calculated Ct value. Automatically calculated thresholds would allow each test to be called as “positive”, “negative” or “indeterminate” without needing human interpretation Viral load monitoring: Repeat testing would allow Ct (hence viral load) be assessed. This could allow adjustment of isolation period Flexibility and future proofing: It is based on an innovation which accelerates all PCR. It can be easily adapted to test for other viruses or future pandemics