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The new Finnish strain of COVID-19 is difficult to detect by PCR test

Medical staff in Finland take samples to test COVID-19 for people. Photo:

Radio Sputnik reported that the new virus strain named Fin-796H is the result of joint research by Vita Laboratory and Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Helsinki.

According to Vita, not all RealTime-PCR assays licensed by the World Health Organization (WHO) can detect the Fin-796H strain.

In a Feb. 18 announcement, the lab said it had collaborated with the Helsinki University’s Institute of Biotechnology and discovered a previously unknown strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a sample. in Southern Finland.

Mutations in this strain make it difficult to detect with a simple PCR test. According to Vita, the findings could have an important impact on determining the spread of the acute respiratory inflammatory disease COVID-19.

Although this new strain contains detectable mutations in British and South African variants, it is still different from previously known strains and does not appear to belong to any variant category. Come on.

An associate professor of clinical microbiology at Vita Laboratory Ms. Sakari Jokiranta says a certain mutation in the strain keeps it undetected using one of the WHO-approved testing methods. “This was observed when analyzing the specimen of a patient infected with the new variant COVID-19,” she added.

However, researchers have yet to find data on where the mutant Fin-796H virus strain evolved. They are not sure that Fin-796H was developed in Finland because the total number of COVID-19 infections in this country is significantly lower than in other European countries. Fin-796H’s vaccine resistance has also not been determined.

According to the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare, the number of new patients infected with COVID-19 of this country on February 18 has increased by 548 people, bringing the total to 51,595 cases per 5.5 million people. The number of deaths here is 723 people. Almost 240,000 Finns were vaccinated against COVID-19, equivalent to 4% of the population.

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