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- Date2021-12-24 14:49
- Update2021-12-24 18:03
- Division중앙방역대책본부 위기소통팀
New PCR Reagent Highly Enhanced South Korea’s Response Capacity against Omicron
A new PCR reagent for a rapid identification of the Omicron variant would make South Korea the world’s first nation to identify five major variants with a single PCR analysis.
Osong, 24th December 2021 – The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) has announced on 24th December 2021 that it has completed the development of a PCR diagnostic reagent that can rapidly identify the Omicron variant. The new reagent has made South Korea the first nation in the world to identify five major variants with a single PCR analysis.
As part of the effort to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant, the KDCA has established a PCR reagent development plan for a rapid identification of the variant and created the Expert Advisory Committee. With the aim of making the PCR reagent available within this year, the Agency provided positive reference substances for Korean reagent companies to develop reagent prototypes, and then evaluated the effectiveness of such prototypes.
The Expert Advisory Committee held a meeting to discuss the evaluation results, and then selected the most appropriate reagent. Accordingly, the reagents for rapid detection of Omicron are scheduled to be supplied to 5 regional centres for disease control and prevention and 18 research institutes of public health and environment by 29th December 2021.
As a result, from 30th December, such centres and institutes nationwide will be able to rapidly identify not only the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta variants but also the Omicron variant, including its “stealth” version.
KDCA Commissioner Jeung Eun-kyeong said: “After a person has been confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19, with the current genomic sequencing, it takes 3 to 5 days to determine whether the confirmed case has been infected with the Omicron variant. But with the supply of the new PCR reagent that can rapidly detect the Omicron variant, we are now able to see the analysis results within 3 to 4 hours after a person has been infected.”
Commissioner Jeung added: “When confirmed cases are detected in our communities, we can rapidly identify if such cases are Omicron-infected. Therefore, we are expecting a highly effective prevention and control of the spread and transmission of the variant.”
* Contact Information:
- Seung-ho Choi, Deputy Director, Risk Communication Team, KDCA
- Email: email@example.com