CRISPR-research from Würzburg paves the way for new corona test methods

The research team at the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI) have recently published new groundbreaking results from their corona research: A novel diagnostic technology was found that makes tests for corona and other pathogens much more efficient.

Most conventional molecular biology diagnostic methods – especially the PCR tests currently used in pandemic response – typically detect only a single disease-related biomarker, such as a specific sequence of SARS-CoV-2. Scientists at Julius Maximilian University (JMU) and the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI) in Würzburg, Germany, have now paved the way for an entirely new diagnostic platform. It is a CRISPR-based method that is multiplexable: it can potentially detect a variety of disease-related biomarkers in just one test. This method is also suitable as a diagnostic tool to analyze resistance (in the infectious field), up to cancer and rare genetic diseases.

In this groundbreaking research, Prof. Dr. Cynthia Sharma, Prof. Dr. Jörg Vogel, Jun. Prof. Dr. Lars Barquist and other members of the network are involved. The finding that led to the detection method was identified while researching with Campylobacter.

Press release from the University of Würzburg.

Publication: Noncanonical crRNAs derived from host transcripts enable multiplexable RNA detection by Cas9