Mayo Clinic develops test to detect virus that causes COVID-19

Mayo Clinic develops test to detect virus that causes COVID-19
The Mayo Clinic has developed a test that can detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus in clinical samples, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. (Source: Mayo Clinic News Network)

ROCHESTER, Minn. (MAYO CLINIC NEWS NETWORK) — The Mayo Clinic has developed a test that can detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus in clinical samples, which is the virus that causes COVID-19.

The test has been fully validated, and data will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for review and emergency use authorization.

“This is an issue that the whole world is grappling with and, so, we felt like it was our moral obligation to offer testing to as many people as we can.”

Dr. Matthew Binnicker oversees Mayo Clinic’s laboratory response in developing a test to detect COVID-19 in clinical samples. A process that usually takes six months to a year, was accomplished in under a month, thanks to a dedicated team working around the clock.

“It has been a heroic effort and a team effort.”

The test should help ease the burden currently being felt at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and state health labs.

“Our plan is to offer this test to anyone here at Mayo and around the country and even from patients seen in other countries.”

That will also mean faster turnaround times for results.

“Once the sample arrives in our laboratory, the whole process from beginning to end takes somewhere between four and six hours.”

Patients can expect results within 24 hours of when samples are collected and sent to Mayo Clinic Laboratories.

“We needed to get the results to our physicians and physicians around the country so that they could make those rapid patient management decisions. Because information is power. If you have the results of the test you can decide whether the patient has the disease or not and then you can make steps and make decisions from there.”

Initially, Dr. Binnicker says the laboratory has the capacity to run between 200-300 tests daily.

Additional equipment has been ordered to double that capacity in the coming weeks.

Copyright 2020 Mayo Clinic News Network. All rights reserved. KEYC News Now contributed to this story.