• New Diagnostic Test Can Detect SARS-CoV-2 even After Mutation
    (L-R) NTU School of Computer Science and Engineering’s Professor Lin Weisi and PhD student Hou Jingwen, NTU School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering’s Associate Professor Tan Meng How and project officer Ooi Kean Hean. Credit NTU Singapore
  • (L-R) NTU Project Officer Ooi Kean Hean, Professor Lin Weisi, PhD student Hou Jingwen, Associate Professor Tan Meng How. Credit NTU Singapore

News & Views

New Diagnostic Test Can Detect SARS-CoV-2 even After Mutation

May 23 2021

A team of scientists led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed a diagnostic test that can detect SARS-CoV-2 - the virus that causes COVID-19 - even after it has gone through mutations.

Called the VaNGuard (Variant Nucleotide Guard) test, it makes use of a gene-editing tool known as CRISPR, which is used widely in scientific research to alter DNA sequences and modify gene function in human cells under lab conditions, and more recently, in diagnostic applications.

Since viruses have the ability to evolve over time, a diagnostic test robust against potential mutations is a crucial tool for tracking and fighting the pandemic. 

In addition to its ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 even when it mutates, the VaNGuard test can be used on crude patient samples in a clinical setting without the need for RNA purification, and yields results in 30 minutes.

More information online


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