A less invasive COVID-19 test may be on its way ― using armpit sweat.
Scientists in Thailand are developing a sweat-based mobile virus detector, and a pilot test on shopkeepers at a Bangkok food market was carried out this week, AFP reported.
Chulalongkorn University’s Dr Chadin Kulsing said from samples collected, researchers found people infected with COVID-19 secrete very distinct chemicals.
“We used this finding to develop a device to detect the specific odours produced by certain bacteria in the sweat of COVID-19 patients,” he was quoted saying, adding the test was 95 per cent accurate.
Dr Chadin hopes that this will lead to the rolling out of a more affordable alternative to the more expensive swab tests that require laboratory processing.
It is, however, still in the development stage, and the research behind it is yet to be published or peer-reviewed.
The scientists adapted the device from a piece of equipment that is usually used to detect toxic chemicals in the environment.
Subjects are to place a cotton swab under their arms for 15 minutes before the swab is put in a glass vial and sterilised with ultraviolet rays.
“The technician then draws an appropriate amount of the sample using a suction hose, and pressurises it into the analyser to check the results,” Dr Chadin added.
Sample collection takes 15 minutes and the results are ready in 30 seconds. — Malay Mail
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