Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank announced that the PCR tests used to detect the COVID-19 virus will now give better quality results. Stating that the TÜBİTAK National Metrology Institute (UME) produces RNA-based reference materials in order to get better quality results from PCR tests, Minister Varank said, “Thus, the accuracy rate of PCR tests will increase. In addition, the materials produced will be used in the internal quality control of PCR kits. " said.
Minister Varank stated that they requested these reference materials from equivalent institutes for comparison and said, “However, they put forward sudan excuses. This, of course, motivated our researchers more. We started a project to produce these reference materials ourselves for the use of laboratories and kit manufacturers in our country. We completed our work in a short time like 3 months. Unlike the RNA-based reference materials that are not even given to us for comparison, we have produced our domestic and national materials resistant to dust and temperature in more innovative form. " he spoke.
HOW DOES THE PCR TEST WORK?
In PCR tests, which are widely used all over the world to detect the COVID-19 virus, measurement consists of two different steps. In the first step, the RNA of the virus is translated into cDNA by an enzyme. In the second step, the translated cDNA (conjugated DNA) is amplified with another enzyme and a positive signal is generated in the PCR test.
NEW REFERENCE MATERIAL
Industry and Technology Ministry related organizations carrying out activities under TÜBİTAK National Metrology Institute (UME), used for Covidien-19 diagnosis in Turkey in order to improve the quality of measurement of PCR tests has developed a new reference material. These new RNA-based reference materials enable the control of both steps involved in the PCR test, ensuring the quality of the measurements.
WE WILL ALSO CONTROL QUALITY
RNA-based reference materials produced by TÜBİTAK UME can be used as internal quality control material for the control of both enzyme steps in laboratory measurements. In addition, manufacturers will be able to add this material to PCR kits as an RNA-based positive quality control material to ensure the reliability of their kits.
FROM COOLING TO DISTRIBUTION
TÜBİTAK UME Director Dr. Mustafa Çetintaş, explaining that they ensure the quality of PCR tests performed with reference materials produced with local and national facilities, “The most important contribution of this material is that it does not require any cooling process. We can easily distribute the material to the stakeholders in the country without subjecting it to cooling. " said.
NEW CAPABILITY WINS
The work carried out in TÜBİTAK UME laboratories has also provided an infrastructure and technical experience. The laboratories have reached the ability to produce new RNA reference materials in a very short time if the COVID-19 virus mutates or another virus appears.
PRODUCED WITH THE SUPPORT OF EAST MARMARA DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
Reference Materials received support from the Eastern Marmara Development Agency with the project titled "Production of Diagnostic Kit Reference Material for Fast and Reliable Diagnosis of TR19 / 42 / COVID / 20: 0035-nCoV Virus" within the scope of the "Program for Combating COVID-2019 and Resilience". . After the 3-month project period, 2 reference materials were produced in 250 different forms as "Frozen" and "Lyophilized".
Information and order forms about RNA-based reference materials, rm.ume.tubitak.gov.tr can be accessed from the link.