Mutations in the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 have recently been the focus of both the media and scientific community. Virus variants like those from Great Britain (VOC-202012/01, lineage B.1.1.7), South Africa (VOC-202012/02, lineage B.1.351) and Brazil (lineage P.1), which were first seen in December 2020, have been known to spread rapidly.
These changed viruses display prominent mutations in the spike protein, which is thought to be accompanied by a rise in transmissibility. According to the current situation, it can be presumed that mutations in the S-protein have no effect on the detectability of the virus using nal von minden GmbH’s antigen rapid tests.
Our rapid tests do not utilise the spike protein (S-protein) in their detection of the virus, but instead the nucleocapsid protein (N-protein). According to information from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) (1) and Public Health England (2) there is no evidence that the new virus strains VOC-202012/01 and VOC-202012/02 have any negative bearing on the results of antigen rapid tests. According to our assessment, the P.1 virus variant also does not possess any changes to the N-protein which would adversely affect its detection.
The new strains of coronavirus, which have emerged from Great Britain, South Africa and Brazil, can be detected using the nal von minden antigen rapid tests just as reliably as the original coronavirus SARSCoV-2 variant.