COVID-19 is spreading fast around the world and is showing no signs of abating or subsiding. It appears that coronavirus is here to stay and is not going away any time soon.

Governments and private entities around the world are striving for solutions to this global crisis that has thwarted not only world trade but daily activities that we once took for granted. But even in these dark times, help may be at hand from an unexpected direction: gold-based tests for COVID-19.

The hunt is on for the development of cutting-edge testing mechanisms for COVID-19 diagnosis and gold-based tests for COVID-19 are emerging as a viable possibility.

Several companies around the world are trying to develop testing mechanisms for quick and easy diagnosis of COVID-19.

Oxford University

In partnership with top medical diagnostic companies, the Oxford University has just developed a gold-based test for COVID-19 with an exceptional accuracy of over 98.5%. These entities collaborate under the auspices of the UK Rapid Test Consortium.

Mologic is another UK-based company that has developed a similar COVID-19 testing procedure that has a high rate of accuracy, as evidenced by promising trials.

Mammoth Biosciences

California-based lab, Mammoth Biosciences, has partnered with pharmaceutical giant GSK to develop an easy-to-use testing method for COVID-19. This test also uses gold in conjunction with cutting-edge diagnostic technology for providing quick and accurate results.

The use of gold nanoparticles, along with CRISPR nucleases, is essential to providing a rapid test report. Mammoth Biosciences is collaborating with GSK in a bid to have the gold-based test approved by the FDA towards the end of the year.

Why Gold-Based Testing Matters for COVID-19

The development of gold-based testing methods for COVID-19 is now the need of the hour since the epidemic is showing no signs of subsiding even after extensive worldwide lock-downs. In addition to lock-downs, social distancing, hand washing and other procedures, rapid gold-based COVID-19 testing is also essential for defeating it.

Fast testing will help to isolate the rising cases of the infection quickly and mitigate the risk of spreading. So far, the problem is that many COVID-19 cases happen to be asymptomatic, which is a serious problem as the virus can then spread to many people before it is finally detected.

Even those segments of the population at high risk of infection and mortality (such as seniors and those with pre-existing medical conditions) often show no symptoms during the first few days, as a result of which the virus spreads insidiously. Further exacerbating the problem is the current state of COVID-19 testing, which is right now expensive and inaccessible for many.

Gold-based COVID-19 tests will help to detect infections even in those who do not exhibit any symptoms. Thus, asymptomatic infection cases can be isolated and quarantined to alleviate the spread of the virus.

Governments around the world are trying to lift lock-downs but they have all been invariably thwarted due to resurgent COVID-19 waves. Gold-based COVID-19 tests will help to prevent reinfections and allow governments to open up economies and communities with minimal risk of virus proliferation.