Arizona research center developing test to rapidly identify coronavirus

Feb 5, 2020, 6:30 PM | Updated: Feb 7, 2020, 10:42 am
(AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)...
(AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
(AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

PHOENIX — Researchers with the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Flagstaff are developing a test to help quickly identify coronavirus in potentially infected individuals.

Currently there is only one test for coronavirus in the United States and it was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Dr. David Engelthaler, co-director of TGen North’s infectious disease division.

“We’re going to be able to develop a similar type of rapid test but we can look throughout the entirety of the genetic material to not only say absolutely it’s this exact strain and whether it’s changing,” Engelthaler told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday. “It will give information for both doctors and public health officials who are tracking this outbreak.”

Engelthaler said the institute is using next generation DNA sequence technology that will give results quickly.

It would help affected patients get treatment in short order and give health professionals a better understanding of the illness.

TGen is working with the Food and Drug Administration with the hope of fast-tracking the test into the hands of doctors, Engelthaler said.

“TGen has the ability to use next generation science and technology to rapidly develop tests and other technology to respond to any infection disease outbreak,” Engelthaler said.

Coronavirus has affected more than 24,500 and the death toll climbed to 491, with the overwhelming majority of cases in China.

Only a handful of cases have been in the United States, including one in Arizona at Arizona State University.

No deaths from coronavirus have been reported in the U.S.

“It would be great if all of this could just go sit on a shelf and not be used because the epidemic didn’t get large enough,” Engelthaler said. “But if it does, hopefully we will have tests that will be ready to make an impact right away.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Peter Samore contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Phoenix man allegedly shoots wife, kills self after hours of talking to police

A woman was hospitalized and a man died from suicide hours after police surrounded his home in response to a domestic dispute, authorities said. 
5 hours ago
Luis Torres Jaramillo was sentenced to over 9 years in prison for his involvement in a drug traffic...

Arizona man sentenced to over 9 years in prison for drug trafficking

An Arizona man was sentenced last month to over nine years in prison for his role in a drug trafficking organization, authorities said. 
5 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Public Safety Photo)...

AZDPS using tattoo recognition technology to identify unknown persons

The Arizona Department of Public Safety has used tattoo recognition technology to identify two deceased persons in the state since June 23.
5 hours ago
(Facebook photo / Native Renewables)...
Alex Weiner

EPA grants over $225,000 to environmental justice programs in Arizona

The Environmental Protection Agency announced $225,000 tp programs addressing environmental justice in Arizona on Thursday.
5 hours ago
troy hill | cronkite news

Arizona organizations make homes more sustainable with 3D printing, foam

Amid global climate change and a chronic shortage of affordable housing, local construction companies and nonprofits are taking innovative steps to make homes more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable.
5 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT)...

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Aug. 12-14

Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the weekend.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Arizona research center developing test to rapidly identify coronavirus