RT-LAMP offers an opportunity to detect SARS-CoV-2 by means that are cheap, simple, and relatively sensitive. Here are some of the advantages of RT-LAMP that make it a good solution for low-resource environments.
We set out to develop a test anyone can use. Our open access protocols utilize reagents anyone can make cheaply and on their own, circumventing reliance on large companies and bringing down the price per test to incredibly small numbers. Buffer compositions are non-proprietary and public, and anyone can express and purify their own enyzmes for the reaction.
Supply chain independent
Skipping the steps of RNA extraction, swab collection and not utilizing fluorescently labelled probes, RT-LAMP is much more independent of supply chain issues that have been hampering large scale testing initiatives since the beginning of the pandemic. Using the open access protocols further alleviates these issues and makes local, decentralized, short supply chains possible.
Easy and comfortable self-sampling
While RT-LAMP is compatible with swab material collected currently in clinical praxis, swabbing can be stressful, requires swab kits and has to be performed by medical personnel. Gargling has shown to be an effective, comfortable self sampling method for SARS-CoV-2 testing. Easing the load on medical and diagnostic personnel and enabling larger scale testing, gargle is the preferred method for sample acquisition
No need for a thermocycler, no need for fluorescent detection, RT-LAMP reactions run at a temperature of 63 degrees and can be carried out in incubators, thermoblocks or even water baths.
Visual colour readout
A simple, easy to see color switch indicates the change in reaction chemistry caused by the presence of the target SARS-CoV-2 molecule in the reaction mix.
A test for the price of a coffee
For under one Euro for the crude reagent costs of RT-LAMP with our open access protocol, this price would enable massive and rapid testing in almost all parts of the world.
Scalable and adaptable to your conditions
RT-LAMP can be done at home with just a few tubes and a pipette, or in a clinical, high-throughput laboratory with liquid handling robotics, ovens and automatic plate readers. Scalability is a key concern for any real-world impact, and this method can be easily automated and adapted in high-tech clinical praxis.
Contamination prevention system
LAMP technology, in and of itself, is very sensitive to contamination. We have managed to implement a well known contamination prevention system into our reactions, based on dUTP and antarctic thermolabile UDG enzyme.
Different sample type compatibility
It doesn’t matter if you have swabs in VTM, UTM or saline, gargle in HBSS, saline or water, RT-LAMP and especially beadLAMP are compatible with a wide variety of sample inputs.