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March 18, 2021
Sponsored by
Thermo Fisher Scientific

Molecular Multi-Target Assay Design Coupled with Reflex Testing with SARS-CoV-2 Mutations in Mind

GenomeWebinar

Professor in Microbial Evolutionary Genomics, University of Birmingham
Infectious Disease Lead for the Milton Keynes Lighthouse Lab UK

Professor of Medicine at KU Leuven, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Co-Director Infectious Diseases Centre
University Hospital of Leuven

Senior Medical Director
Thermo Fisher Scientific

Viruses mutate as they strive to thrive in response to selective pressures. For molecular diagnostic assays to serve in the management of viral transmission, they need to be designed anticipating the emergence of mutations.

This webinar will focus on the impact of emerging viral variants of SARS-CoV-2 on molecular diagnostic testing. In the first part of the session, Dr. Alan McNally will share how the B.1.1.7 variant was discovered in the United Kingdom, highlight the role played by a molecular diagnostic assay in its detection, and discuss design principles that aid in the development of effective and robust molecular diagnostic assays. In addition, Dr. McNally will discuss some of the clinical data associated with the B.1.1.7 strain as well as the importance of early identification of this variant of concern.

In the second part of the session, Dr. Emmanuel André will discuss his approach to identifying specific SARS-CoV-2 variants using a targeted mutation panel as a reflex test following a suspect clinical variant result. Dr. Andre will provide details about the mutation panel composition as well as the advantages of using this approach for wide-scale SARS-CoV-2 surveillance.

Learning Objectives:

  • Hear the story of detecting the B.1.1.7 variant (UK variant) from a world-leading epidemiologist.
  • Understand the importance of early detection of viral variants and the impact of emerging variants on global response efforts.
  • Learn about molecular diagnostic assay design principles to safeguard against unexpected false results due to mutations and the means to monitor assays as early indicators of emerging variants.
  • Learn about the S-gene advantage with B.1.1.7, the role of the S-gene dropout, and the value of a targeted mutation panel as a reflex tool as follow up for a suspected clinical variant.
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