In light of the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, now commonly known as the Omicron variant, customers have asked how this may affect lateral flow testing with SureScreen antigen tests.
SureScreen have performed in silico analysis and initial wet lab testing for the Omicron variant. The results of this analysis showed that there are no mutations in the parts of the virus our test looks for, and the tests performed with the same high sensitivity when detecting the Omicron variant compared to other variants tested. We, therefore, expect no change in the performance of our tests.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) named Omicron a variant of concern on the 26th November 2021 as its mutation may impact how it behaves. One of the main concerns is the number of mutations on the spike protein, which is the part of the virus that binds to human cells. Currently, research worldwide is being conducted to understand the variant better. More information on the variant is expected in the coming days and weeks.
At SureScreen, we constantly monitor the COVID-19 situation, particularly any variants of interest or concern, to ensure our tests stay as up-to-date as possible. We will continue to analyse new strains as soon as they become available.