BugSeq Analysis Platform Validated in Nanopore Metagenomic Study
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Traditional methods of detecting and determining respiratory infections rely on PCR and microbial culture, which can only detect pathogens targeted by the test.
Analysis by BugSeq, however, paired with metagenomic nanopore sequencing, bypasses the need to look for specific pathogens, instead using universal methods to detect viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. The work, published on medRxiv this week, demonstrates that this approach performs with near perfect accuracy for detecting SARS-CoV-2 from patients with infectious COVID-19.
Researchers from the Future of Humanity Institute, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver General Hospital and the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control contributed to the project.
Sam Chorlton, BugSeq co-founder and CEO, and a senior author of the study, said that “traditionally, metagenomic sequencing has required an expensive, large sequencer and a bioinformatician to analyse the data.” The key appeal of this test is the ability to detect any pathogen on a USB-sized, sub-$1000 sequencer with rapid and automated bioinformatics.
In the study, researchers sequenced and analysed 43 samples from patients with and without COVID-19. The test was run against conventional PCR testing.
Nanopore metagenomic sequencing, paired with BugSeq’s analysis, identified SARS-CoV-2 in 95 percent of patients with moderate to high levels of SARS-CoV-2. The accuracy of the test was 100 percent on patients without COVID-19.