The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for diagnostics that can be rapidly adapted and deployed in a variety of settings. Several SARS-CoV-2 variants have shown worrisome effects on vaccine and treatment efficacy, but no current point-of-care (POC) testing modality allows their specific identification. We have developed miSHERLOCK, a low-cost, CRISPR-based POC diagnostic platform that takes unprocessed patient saliva; extracts, purifies, and concentrates viral RNA; performs amplification and detection reactions; and provides fluorescent visual output with only three user actions and 1 hour from sample input to answer out. miSHERLOCK achieves highly sensitive multiplexed detection of SARS-CoV-2 and mutations associated with variants B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1. Our modular system enables easy exchange of assays to address diverse user needs and can be rapidly reconfigured to detect different viruses and variants of concern. An adjunctive smartphone application enables output quantification, automated interpretation, and the possibility of remote, distributed result reporting.
1. Discuss why it is important to detect nucleic acid from infectious diseases (Basic).
2. Discuss how a CRISPR-based reaction works for diagnostics (Intermediate).
3. Explain the reason why there is an interest in combining nucleic acid amplifiation technologies with CRISPR enzymes (Advanced).