Good news on the screening front. The CNRS unveiled on Tuesday,
after a pre-publication on Saturday on the platform MedRxiv,
the first results of the EasyCov test which claims to detect cases of new coronavirus through salivary samples, while the famous RT-PCR test proceeds via samples from the patients’ nose and pharynx. And they are satisfactory, according to the institution.
A color code
The EasyCov method was developed at the CNRS-affiliated Sys2diag laboratory. His experimentation began on 11 April at the University Hospital of Montpellier. To date, it has involved 123 patients, including 93 asymptomatic caregivers, and 30 patients, ten of whom have recently been infected. Eventually, a total of 180 patients will have been tested according to this protocol. In addition, the 123 people screened to date have been double-blind, both via EasyCov and RT-PCR.
The EasyCov test is conducted as follows: once the saliva sample is taken, it is incubated and heated to 65oC for two successive periods of thirty minutes. A color code will identify the outcome of the process. If it is negative, the solution will take an orange tone, if it is positive, it will turn yellow.
The speed of the new test, and its simplicity, appear as the first reasons for the satisfaction nurtured by the actors of the experiment. The result falls in one hour when the RT-PCR test does not issue its sentence until after 24 hours. In addition, they have received some pledges on the reliability of the method.
It revealed a pre-symptomatic case among caregivers. In addition, the CNRS welcomes the fact that EasyCov produces few false-positives (with a specificity of 95.7%) and less than 30% of false-negatives. The saliva test is expected to be commercialized and deployed later this month by Skillcell.