23rd June 2020, 17:29
A “no-swab” saliva test developed by the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust laboratory team in Basingstoke which includes Gibraltarian Dr Nick Cortes, is to begin trials in Southern England, the UK Government has confirmed.
The pilot, which will test people on a weekly basis, will run for up to four weeks, with a maximum of 40,000 tests expected to be carried out in the programme.
The tests do not require any swabs and will be piloted on saliva. These can be done routinely at home, making it a simpler and quicker way of detecting virus outbreaks, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.
The trial’s test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus does not use the standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, instead, it uses a different technique called RT-Lamp, which the UK Government says has been shown to be highly promising.
Samples can be run rapidly on analysers to generate results or can be seen visually and without the use of laboratory equipment.