As a result, specific laboratories will receive samples to assist in detection; the virus will be sent inactive, that is, without the ability to infect cells
Brazilian scientists are increasingly closer in the development of solutions for the coronavirus. Using samples from coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 obtained from the first two patients diagnosed in So Paulo, researchers from the Biomedical Science Institute of the University of So Paulo (ICB-USP) were able to isolate and grow the virus in the laboratory.
Thereafter, samples will be sent to research groups and public and private laboratories across the country. The objective is to expand the capacity to perform detection tests, in addition to assisting in studies on the causes of the disease and its spread.
According to Edison Luiz Durigon, professor at ICB-USP and coordinator of the project, the lack of virus samples is one of the factors that makes it difficult to diagnose the disease in the country. With availability, testing for positive can be done in more places – this can represent a decisive factor in combating coronavirus.
Until then, the samples used for detection have been imported. As the virus appeared abroad, it was necessary to bring them to the country, at a cost ranging from RS 12 thousand to R $ 14 thousand. The samples were transported under certain refrigeration conditions, this made the price of the trip more expensive.
The availability will allow more locations to perform the first diagnostic exam. Laboratories will receive the virus in an inactive state, that is, without the ability to infect cells, in addition to being at room temperature.
Samples containing the equivalent of one milliliter of the virus will be sent. To perform the tests, the nucleic acid must be extracted by the laboratories and, using a procedure called real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR in English), the diagnosis is made.
This technique allows researchers to expand the genome of virus in a laboratory sample, causing the number of copies of the RNA in the coronavirus be increased by millions. With this, it is possible to detect its existence and quantify it in small samples.
However, Durigon points out that few laboratories have the equipment available to apply this technique. To get around this, he informs that other diagnostic tests are being considered. All of them based on more accessible methods, such as the immunofluorescence procedure – in which the verification of antigens is done using the visualization of fluorescent colors.
Virus Brazil USP disease coronavirus