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Detecting RNA virus in saliva samples using Raman spectroscopy

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Detecting RNA virus in saliva samples using Raman spectroscopy

Those positive for RNA virus can be tested using RT-PCR

If Israel developed a spectroscopy-based one-minute breath-analyser to detect coronavirus, a team led by Amit Dutt from the Mumbai-based Tata Memorial Centre has turned to Raman Spectroscopy to detect RNA viruses present in saliva samples. It is a proof-of-concept study to analyse non-infectious RNA viruses using conventional Raman Spectroscopy without using any additional reagent to enhance the signal.

It has been reported that novel coronavirus is found in sufficient numbers in human saliva. For the study, the researchers spiked saliva samples with non-infectious RNA viruses and analysed it with Raman Spectroscopy. They analysed the raw Raman Spectroscopy data and compared the signals with both viral positive and negative samples. Statistical analysis of all the 1,400 spectra obtained for each sample, showed a set of 65 Raman spectral features was adequate to identify the viral positive signal. “Interestingly, most of the spectra were specific for the RNA molecule,” says Dr. Dutt. “We confirmed our finding by adding an enzyme that specifically degrades RNA molecule — the RNase — in presence of which the 65 spectra–based feature was completely abrogated that didn’t happen in presence of DNase or proteinase. We thus confirmed that the signal came from the RNA contributed by the intact virions,” says Dr. Dutt.

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The signal set has 92.5% sensitivity and 88.8% specificity. The results are published in the Journal of Biophotonics . Dr. Sudeep Gupta, Director of TMC is a co-author of the paper. Free downloads

To minimise variability and automate the analysis of the Raman spectra for RNA viruses, they developed an automated tool — RNA Virus […]

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