Siemens Healthineers SARS-CoV-2 Testing Portfolio Detects Omicron Variant
Updated: Mar 28, 2022
The Siemens Healthineers SARS-CoV-2 testing portfolio is well designed to detect the Omicron variant. The portfolio includes:
CLINITEST® Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test
FTD SARS-CoV-2 Assay, a PCR test
Lab-based Atellica and ADVIA Centaur SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Assay (CoV2Ag)
Siemens Healthineers has announced that the company’s SARS-CoV-2 tests are well designed to detect the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant. The company recently evaluated the potential impact of the emergent variant on the CLINITEST Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test, the FTD SARS-CoV-2 Assay, a PCR test, and the Atellica IM / ADVIA Centaur SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Assay (CoV2Ag). On November 26, 2021, both the WHO and ECDC designated the Omicron variant as a variant of concern. Mutations are normal, abundant, and expected, especially with an RNA virus, and the SARS-CoV-2 is no different. As countries struggle to combat emerging variants, fast and accurate testing is an important tool in containing spread.
To assess the potential impact to the CLINITEST rapid test and the Atellica/ADVIA Centaur SARS-CoV-2 Antigen (CoV2Ag) Assay, the Siemens Healthineers R&D team analyzed the sequence data of the Omicron variant nucleocapsid protein. This analysis demonstrated >98% sequence homology of the nucleocapsid protein to other SARS-CoV-2 variants. Meaning, it is unlikely that the Omicron variant would affect the results.
CLINITEST Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test
The CLINITEST Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test has a sensitivity of 97.25 percent and a specificity of 100 percent (compared to a PCR, or nucleic acid-detection method) and provides results in 15 minutes. The simple process for collecting a nasal swab and obtaining a result are included in the Instructions for Use. A nasal swab is collected from both nostrils and then the swab is washed in a buffer to reveal a specific protein inside the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The sample is then dispensed onto the test cassette and after 15 minutes the result is visible. The position and number of lines clearly indicate whether the test is positive or negative.
Atellica/ADVIA Centaur SARS-CoV-2 Antigen (CoV2Ag) Assay
The Siemens Healthineers’ CoV2Ag test shows strong alignment compared with on the market available automated real-time (RT)-PCR testing with sensitivity exceeding 96% and specificity exceeding 99% for the Atellica CoV2Ag test. While molecular RT-PCR diagnostic testing is the gold standard in accuracy, it lacks the high throughput capability of a lab-based, automated antigen test. With availability of CoV2Ag on the Atellica IM Analyzer, laboratories can significantly increase the SARS-CoV-2 testing capacity with a platform that can run up to 440 tests per hour.
FTD SARS-CoV-2 Assay Siemens Healthineers has also confirmed, based on in silico analysis, that the FTD SARS-CoV-2 Assay, a PCR-based test, detects the Omicron variant. Dual target design makes it possible to detect two different genomic regions of SARS-CoV-2. One benefit of this is a higher sensitivity because it is possible to detect two different genomic regions on the same detection channel, but most important right now, is that it helps to cope with mutations.
Siemens Healthineers offers an evolving menu of single mutation PCR reflex tests that complement our FTD SARS-CoV-2 Assay to identify SARS-CoV-2 variants. Our relationship with A1 Life Sciences allows us to offer research use only tests (RUO) that enable laboratories to efficiently detect mutations to discriminate between circulating variants, including Omicron.
“As a leader in laboratory diagnostics, Siemens Healthineers is committed to monitoring all current and emerging variants of concern to ensure the test results remain accurate and reliable,” said Deepak Nath, PhD, President Laboratory Diagnostics, Siemens Healthineers. “Accurate diagnostic tools are a critical factor in allowing public health authorities to combat the spread of virus and protect the health of their populations.”