Professor Ma Lixin, Director of the State Key Laboratory of Biocatalysis and Enzyme Engineering, Hubei University, has published the research findings of "PfAgo-based detection of SARS-CoV-2" in the international journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics recently.
COVID-19 poses a great threat to human health worldwide. The coronavirus is highly contagious, and asymptomatic patients are a potential source of infection, so timely and accurate detection of the virus is important.
In the early stage of the outbreak, Professor Ma immediately recognized the importance of nucleic acid testing for the prevention and control of the disease and the limitations of existing testing methods. With years of experience in research on nucleic acid macromolecules and novel programmable nucleases, Prof. Ma began to conceptualize and design a new nucleic acid detection method and organized a collaboration between his research team and the Hubei Provincial CDC. This new method was 100% specific and accurate in an assay testing 36 novel-coronavirus positive and 8 novel-coronavirus negative samples. The innovative PfAgo-based novel-coronavirus detection system has great potential to control large-scale epidemics caused by virus.