Testing for COVID-19 has gone up significantly in the last month, and consequently positive cases have risen as well and more Omicron variants were identified at our laboratory.
Given the high cost of sequencing, we have adopted a strategy where we developed a RT PCR test with which we can distinguish samples with the unique mutations of the Omicron variant directly from the RT PCR.
With the currently available RT-PCR test, for example, from 1,000 individuals tested, if 5% positive cases were detected (50 cases) but the number of Omicron cases could not be determined, you would normally need to sequence them all, which is costly. That is why in the State of Texas the government plan is to only sequence 25% positive samples randomly, which would leave 75% of cases unidentified.
Here at Ayass Bioscience, LLC Laboratory, using our newly developed RT-PCR test, we are able to distinguish the positive cases that carry Omicron-specific mutations and then sequence them, reducing the chance of missing any Omicron samples down to zero.
We are proud to be the only laboratory that took the necessary scientific steps to quickly identify samples with the Omicron variant directly from our new RT PCR test, and then confirm it with NGS (Next Generation Sequencing).
MOHAMAD AMMAR AYASS, M.D.