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GeneFirst COVID-19 kits and new Variant of Concern, Omicron

GeneFirst Limited confirms that its COVID-19 and COVID-19 Plus Detection Kits are able to detect the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant.


GeneFirst has performed In silico analyses of the Omicron genome sequences publicly available on GISAID and confirms that the primers and probes included within the GeneFirst COVID-19 Detection Kits are not impacted by the mutations within the Omicron variant. 


In addition to this, the World Health Organisation has, in a recent article providing an update on the Omicron Variant, stated the following: 


"The widely used PCR rests continue to detect infection, incuding infection with Omicron, as we have seen with other variants as well. Studies are ongoing to determine whether there is any impact on other types of tests, including rapid antigent detection tests"*


The risk of mutations in the sequences of targets in the COVID-19 or COVID-19 Plus Detection Kits has been identified in the risk assessments of these products (RIA1019 and RIA1202 respectively). This risk remains unchanged and the risk assessments do not require updating at this time. Risks from low-level incidence strains with mutations of concern (which might impact upon the detection of a single COVID target) is limited by the inclusion of two SARS COV-2 targets within the COVID-19 and COVID-19 plus PCR kits.


In response to the continued emergence of other variant strains of concern, and the continued risk of viral mutation, a systematic analysis will continue to be performed every 3 weeks. Up-to-date sequences will be sourced from the GISAID SARS-CoV-2 sequence repository and analysed to determine whether any mutation detected within the sequenced SARS-CoV-2 isolates would be expected to the impact upon the function of the COVID-19 and COVID-19 Plus Detection Kits.


Throughout the pandemic, GeneFirst Limited has been committed to being a proactive developer and supplier of RT-PCR COVID-19 kits, with the launch of our CE-IVD kits for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 and other commonly circulating viral pathogens. In addition to this, GeneFirst has launched a single closed-tube multiplex assay for the detection of currently circulating Variants of Concern called the COVID-19 Variant Detection Kit. 


If you want to order or want more information about our COVID-19 kits email us at info@genefirst.com 


*www.who.int/news/item/28-11-2021-update-on-omicron