Saudi researchers develop coronavirus diagnostic test

Saudi, coronavirus, diagnostic test

The test is based on analysing the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of Covid-19 virus.


Published: Sat 16 May 2020, 8:39 AM

Last updated: Sat 16 May 2020, 10:48 AM

A Saudi research team at the at the Research Center of King Faisal Specialist Hospital (KFSH) in Riyadh developed a diagnostic test to detect coronavirus infection, state news agency SPA reported on Friday.

The test is based on analysing the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of Covid-19 virus and has been approved by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (FDA).  The test has been developed by a scientific team led by two international research scientists in microbiology Dr. Ahmed Al Qahtani and Dr. Fatima Al Hamlan, SPA said.
The test followed a series of precise scientific laboratory standards and has passed all the verification stages, said Dr. Ali Al Zahrani, CEO of the Research Center at KFSH in Riyad.

Dr Al Zahrani said that King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center owns the Primers device, which is the cornerstone of molecular polymerization tests for virus detection, noting that reaching this advanced stage in developing the diagnostic test reflects the outstanding competence of the Saudi researchers, who worked on this project until it reached its final stages, meeting all the required scientific requirements.

Meanwhile, Dr. Majid Al Fayyad, the Executive Supervisor General of the General Corporation for King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, expressed his appreciation for the research team that was able to design and develop the test, enabling the hospital to carry out the required laboratory tests for samples of the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

The test relied on the local product efficiently. The objective was to overcome any shortage of commercially manufactured products, whether from abroad or within the Kingdom due to the high demand, amid the outbreak of the pandemic.

He also said the hospital and research center are ready to produce the primers for local laboratories and to share the protocol with local and Gulf laboratories to counter the shortage of commercial solutions.

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