Scientists create Breathalyser tests to detect cases amidst Covid surge

With the omicron cases on spike, researchers have reportedly developed a breathalyser test named ‘Bubbler’ which relies on RNA detection to diagnose coronavirus cases. The device creates a bubbling sound when the patient breaths out into the device.

Apparently, the Bubbler test machine reverse transcribes RNA from the airborne virus particles into the DNA which is tested through a PCR test which can also be barcoded and linked straight to the patient. It consists of a tube and pipette made of glass through which patients can exhale.

Meanwhile, this test delivers extra information like the strain identity and viral load and eradicates the need to stabilize the sample, making it suitable to be performed at home.

Professor William G. Fairbrother, PhD, Lead Investigator of the project stated that the involvement of lower respiratory tract is generally a precursor to strengthen coronavirus because of which a requirement for direct sample with more focus on exhaled breath is needed.

Imperatively, a disadvantage of the swab test is that it can test positive even months after the detection of infection. The importance of testing airborne particles is the main advantage of the Bubbler test as compared to the advanced technologies which cannot differentiate active infections from previous infections.

As per credible reports, Bubbler test will be used for environmental sampling in closed environments, hospitals, transportation hubs and other places.

Additionally, the other advantage of the barcoding system is that it allows high throughput RNA virus testing at a minimum cost as compared to the conventional testing. Furthermore, the barcode provides a viral sequence which allows the identification of the strain, that might be of use to know about the transmissibility and strain specific treatment decisions.

It has been claimed that Bubble test can detect the presence of virus in airborne samples which make it of potential use in cruise ships, hotels, casinos to test Covid-19 particles in air.


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