Can the currently used diagnostics methods, detect Omicron?
Hello, I am 18 years old male. How is it detected that it is omicron? Is it tested like other variants or other methods are used to detect omicron? I wanted to know Can the currently used diagnostics methods, detect Omicron?
@juan Hello, Rapid antigen tests can definitely detect Omicron. Some research indicates that rapid tests may be less sensitive to Omicron than they are to other variants. That means the tests might be yielding more false negatives, especially in the early days of infection.
The most accepted and commonly used method of diagnostic for SARS-CoV2 Variant is RT-PCR method. This method detects specific genes in the virus, such as Spike (S), Enveloped (E) and Nucleocapsid (N), etc to confirm the presence of the virus. However, in the case of Omicron, as the S gene is heavily mutated, some of the primers may lead to results indicating the absence of the S gene (called S gene drop out). This particular S gene drops out along with the detection of other viral genes could be used as a diagnostic feature of Omicron. However, for final confirmation of the omicron variant genomic sequencing is required.
A new PCR test developed by the JRC can detect the Omicron variant, the latest testing by EU scientists confirms. The Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has confirmed the validity of the Omicron-specific detection method it has developed.