The antigen test kits developed by GBM play a crucial role in mitigating the transmission of new COVID variant which has ravaged the world this fall.

The Swiftswab Antigen Test Kit can detect 40+ distinct variants, 7 of which are highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 strains

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID cases and hospitalizations are on the rise. COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates have begun to rise across USA & Canada as summer winds down into September, just as they have every autumn since 2020.

Better immunity, COVID vaccinations, testing, and treatments are all helping to keep people out of the hospital. Nonetheless, the increase in COVID-19 infections is a good reminder to follow CDC advice, wash your hands, and avoid sick people. If you’re sick, stay at home to avoid infecting others.

The Omicron variant continues to evolve, with XBB subvariants such as EG.5 continuing to circulate in USA, Canada and globally. EG.5 and another new subvariant, BA.2.86, have recently become a key part of conversations about how this fall’s anticipated spike in COVID-19 cases will play out.

EG.5 is a recent COVID variation that is quite similar to the XBB variants that have been circulating in the United States for the past six months. Notably, it contains a mutation that has been shown to resist some of the immunity that you gain following an illness or vaccine. According to the World Health Organization, EG.5 has a strong growth advantage over other widespread variations around the world. Its infection rate rose from 7.6% in the week of June 19th to June 25th to 17.5% in the week of July 17th to 23rd. According to the WHO, the fastest-growing COVID-19 variant now circulating in the Americas, Europe, and the Western Pacific is EG.5. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predict that by August 5th, the prevalence of EG.5 in the United States may have climbed to 17.3%.


More than 30,000 Covid-19 Antigen mutant strains have been found in Covid-19 Antigen viral samples collected from patients all over the world, according to reports. Multiple mutations on the Spike protein’s receptor-binding domain (RBD) are the most concerning, as these structural alterations have the potential to increase receptor affinity, reduce neutralizing antibody effects, or cause virus immune evasion. Some of these modifications can result in more infectious viruses that are more transmissible and virulent. The World Health Organization (WHO) designated many important novel coronavirus mutant strains using the Greek alphabet, with B.1.1.7 being named Alpha (α), B.1.351 being named Beta (β), 2 P.1 being named Gamma (γ), B.1.617.2 being named Delta (δ), and B.1.1.529 being named Omicron(o). These mutant Covid-19 Antigen strains have proliferated throughout the world.

The N protein exhibits a high degree of conservation and may be categorized into five distinct structural domains, namely the N-arm, NTD, LKR, CTD, and the C-tail (see to Figure 1). These domains are frequently employed as indicators in Covid-19 Antigen testing. Nevertheless, Covid-19 Antigen mutant strains also exhibit N protein mutations, and specific mutation sites have been identified on the N proteins of several widely circulating mutant strains.

The Belgium Department of Laboratory Medicine and Department of Pharmacy, among other entities, gathered a diverse array of samples for the purpose of conducting research. A total of 60 specimens were obtained during the “Delta” wave, which occurred from December 1st to December 5th. Similarly, an additional 60 samples were taken during the Omicron wave, spanning from January 1st to January 6th, at Clinique Saint-Pierre in Ottignies, Belgium.

Out of the total of 120 samples that were gathered, 46 of them were verified using whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to be associated with the Omicron variant, whereas the remaining 70 samples were identified as the Delta variant. In order to assess the analytical performance of five regularly used Covid-19 Antigen detection reagents (RAD) in Belgian pharmacies, two test professionals conducted independent testing on both the Omicron and Delta variants. This testing was carried out using blind design and independent operation. The study demonstrated that the SwiftSwab Antigen Self Test, manufactured by GBM’s, emerged as one of the leading products among the five that have received verification from Belgium.

The study demonstrated that the GBM SwiftSwab test exhibited superior performance compared to the other four products that were validated by Belgium. The following table presents the sensitivity of the 5 RAD (Rapid Antigen Detection) method in detecting the Delta and Omicron variants.

Currently, the SwiftSwab Antigen Self Test was employed to conduct tests on a total of 40 distinct variant strain N protein samples and 7 cultures of SARS-CoV-2 variant strains. All samples have the potential to yield positive test results. Furthermore, it is noteworthy to mention that the SwiftSwab Antigen Self Test has successfully completed the phase 3A validation process conducted by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). The analytical sensitivity was examined by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in order to meet the established requirements. The evaluation conducted by Denmark Statens Serum Institut (SSI) revealed that the SwiftSwab Antigen Self Test is capable of detecting the Delta and Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variations at levels equivalent to the wild type (Wuhan). Additionally, the SwiftSwab Antigen Self Test is also effective in detecting the Delta and Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted an evaluation of the findings, which revealed that the SwiftSwab Antigen Self Test demonstrated a 100% detection rate for live virus Omicron samples at a Ct-value of 24.8 (n=5) when compared to an RT-PCR method permitted under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

The performance of the GBM SwiftSwab Antigen Self Test in detecting the Delta and Omicron variants in patients with a high viral load (Ct ≤ 25) was evaluated in Belgium. The test demonstrated sensitivities of 97.8% and 97.1% for the Delta and Omicron variants, respectively. These results align with the expectations set by the European HSC Technical Working Group on COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests.

SWIFTSWAB is currently available at Pharmacy, located at:

845 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1J9

Or, you can purchase it online:

Analysis of Omicron Subvariants

The GBM SwiftSwab Antigen Self Test detects the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s N protein.

Omicron evolved from the earlier BA.1 variety into many sub-variants of BA.2, BA.3, BA.4, and BA.5, among others. As indicated in the table below, the major change between the three Omicron sub-variants occurs on the S protein, with very little difference on the N protein.

GBM internally evaluated the detection of BA.1, and external research included the detection of BA.1 and BA.2, as well as BA.4 and BA.5 (Denmark Statens Serum Institut), with all results indicating that they were detectable. The Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 results are also available on DSSI site.

Experience peace of mind with the SwiftSwab COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test, your rapid and accurate defense against COVID-19 and its variants. Get results in just 15 minutes – Stay safe, Stay confident!

Long-Term Recommendations

Dr. Tedros issued crucial long-term recommendations for managing the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing global collaboration in monitoring viral mutations, disease trends, and immunity. Countries are urged to transparently share COVID-19 data with the WHO, especially regarding fatalities, severe cases, genetics, and vaccine efficacy. Vaccination efforts targeting high-risk groups are emphasized, along with equitable access to vital resources. He stated firmly, “The WHO remembers, and governments should too.” Implementing these recommendations will aid in both COVID-19 response and other disease management.

#COVID19 #Coronavirus #StaySafe #VirusAlert #Pandemic #FlattenTheCurve #VaccineRollout #MaskUp #SocialDistance #TestAndTrace #Swiftswab #antigentest #selftest #antigentestkit

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