Recurring outbreaks of COVID-19 have been unpredictable, as shown by the global spread of the Delta variant, followed by the Omicron variant. One study conducted in Israel indicated that the emergence of the Omicron variant did not mean that the Delta variant had been eliminated, and that the Delta variant may reemerge. This shows that healthcare industries will face severe challenges in the future. Thus, the industry as a whole must focus on developing a testing service that is both rapid and accurate.
Why are PCR tests necessary when rapid antigen tests are available? The Ct value is the key criterion for releasing moderate and severe patients from isolation.
The fastest testing method currently in use is antigen testing, which tests for the presence of viral proteins. Rapid antigen tests (RATs) take approximately 15 minutes to produce results; however, they are less accurate and only show whether the result is positive or negative without indicating the severity of infection (i.e., the test cannot measure Ct values). In addition, RATs may produce false-negative and false-positive results. PCR testing tests for the presence of nuclear RNA in the virus. It is considerably more accurate, shows Ct values, and indicates the presence of residual virus material in the patient, thus providing the key basis for releasing patients with moderate and severe infections from isolation.
The amplification curves in the graph above show the Ct values, which represent the residual concentration of the virus and therefore provide a crucial basis for hospitals to determine whether they can release moderately and severely infected patients from isolation.
DELBio G1 is popular among health care professionals
PCR tests must be performed in laboratories by trained analysts. This specific environmental requirement renders PCR testing difficult in small clinics and small hospitals, which are usually a lack of space and staff shortages. For this reason, the DELBio Dagene G1 system, which features a closed-loop design for safe and easy operation, has been favorably received among health care professionals. It provides accurate results and requires lower costs for system setup and operation. The table below details the benefits of this system versus conventional PCR tasting in a laboratory:
|DELBio Dagene G1||Traditional Laboratory PCR Testing|
|Product Feature||Single samples can be tested immediately||A large batch of samples is required for testing|
|Timeliness||Excellent: samples can be tested immediately upon receipt||Poor: an entire batch of samples must be loaded for testing|
|Setup Cost||Low: a laboratory environment is not required||High: a laboratory environment is required|
|Testing Speed||60-90 minutes||3–4 hours|
|Convenience||Simple: the system can be operated by a single person||Complex: testing requires the involvement of multiple professionals|
|Practicality in Clinical Treatment||Excellent (small DNA/RNA Ct differences)||Suitable for large batches of samples|
|Biosafety||Excellent: closed systems prevent sample leaks and spills||Poor: open systems may result in sample spills, leading to cross-contamination and environmental pollution|
This table shows that traditional laboratory PCR testing is associated with high setup costs, high training costs, and slow testing speeds (3–4 hours); therefore, when an acute outbreak of COVID-19 occurs, hospitals cannot cope with surges in demand for medical testing, which puts additional strain on the healthcare system, reduces bed turnover rates, and overwhelms health care professionals. The DELBio Dagene G1 system, which integrated with a fully automated nucleic acid analyzer, uses the same testing procedures as those used in traditional laboratories, thus delivering precise measurement and excellent performance. Testing takes only 90 minutes to provide Ct values for clinical physicians to quickly decide whether moderately and severely infected patients can be discharged from the hospital, thus increasing hospital bed turnover rates. Furthermore, the DELBio Dagene G1 can be installed in non-laboratory environments and operated by a single person, making it an important clinical tool.
The DELBio G1 provides more precise clinical guidelines with an DNA/RNA assay kit
Nucleic acid tests are performed either by model estimation or using a DNA/RNA assay kit. Model estimation is faster, but it is prone to system error, which generates inaccurate Ct values that may lead to clinical misdiagnosis. The DELBio Dagene G1 uses a COVID-19 detection kit for COVID-19 specific DNA/RNA testing to provide accurate Ct values.
|DNA/RNA Assay Kit||Model Estimation|
|Ct Value Testing||Tests for both DNA and RNA||A built-in model uses single gene testing to estimate Ct values|
|Accuracy||High: samples are tested twice to ensure accurate Ct measurement||Low: Ct values are estimated using a model, which is prone to systematic error|
|Testing Speed||Average: 60–90 minutes||Fast: 15–20 minutes|
The DELBio Dagene G1 has been tested by a hospital in Southern Taiwan. The hospital used a system manufactured by Brand A (statistical tool kit) and DELBio G1 (DNA/RNA kit) to measure Ct values, and they found that both systems differed by a Ct value of 4, which exceeded the value of 3 permitted by Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) (patients with a Ct value of 27–30 may be discharged). In other words, a model-estimated Ct value of 26 may actually be 31. Because of such a significant difference, physicians struggle to determine whether a patient should be discharged. By comparison, samples tested twice with DELBio’s DNA/RNA assay kit produced a Ct difference of only 1, making it more applicable as a clinical guideline.
|Tesr Date||Sample No.||G1 Serial No.||Ct Value from |
|Ct Value from |
|2022.04.12||1330036||1C2191500015||17.65||22.68 (Test 1) / 21.21(Test 2)|
In summary, the DELBio Dagene G1 is rapid, precise, and lightweight. It enables hospitals to quickly perform PCR tests, accurately diagnose patients, and cut medical insurance expenditures. This frees up hospital resources for serving additional patients and reducing pressure on health care workers. Click here for more information on DELBio’s Dagene G1 Automated Nucleic Acid Analysis System.