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Technological Innovations in COVID-19 Diagnostics in Singapore

Author(s): Wenfa Ng

SARS-CoV-2 that caused the COVID-19 pandemic is one exceptional virus with its high transmissivity and delayed onset of symptoms. This article describes the efforts put forth by the biotech industry and universities in Singapore to develop diagnostic tests that aid the detection of positive cases. Direct tests such as RT-PCR and antigen rapid test profile the virus nucleic acid and viral proteins, respectively. But, of equal importance in case detection and treatment are serological tests that measure the relative abundance of IgM and IgG which is indicative of infection phase and quality of immune response in positive cases. Other tests such as isothermal amplification, CRISPR-based diagnostics and breath tests are also in development or in emergency use and would undoubtedly provide valuable usage experience important for the development of molecular assays to detect the next pathogen of global concern.

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