Arizona-Based TGen Developing New Test For Coronavirus

Published: Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 3:22pm
Updated: Friday, February 7, 2020 - 8:14am
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This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

Arizona scientists are working on a test to help detect the novel coronavirus that has sickened nearly 30,000 people worldwide.

The test is being developed by the infectious disease division of the Translational Genomics Research Institute. The genetic analysis reads the DNA sequence to determine the type of virus a person is infected with.

The new test can be conducted overnight, and sometimes in as little as 15 minutes. David Engelthaler is the director of TGen’s infectious disease division in Flagstaff.

“What we want to do is actually use the power of actual DNA sequencing to decode the genetic material and that way we can not only detect the virus but we can also determine: Is anything changing about the virus? Are there any mutations?” David Engelthaler, the director of TGen’s infectious disease division in Flagstaff, said.

Engelthaler said he does not know when the test will be available to the medical community. He added that preventing the spread of Coronavirus is very similar to preventing the common cold.