U.S – PathogenDx, manufacturer of DNA-based pathogen testing kits, has introduced a new patented virus detection technology — Phytox — to help curb the spread of new and existing plant-borne pathogens, which are currently on the rise.
The company claims that the new Asymmetric RT-PCR microarray technology for the cannabis, food, and agriculture industries can detect nine viruses or more in a single test and offers simultaneous, accurate viral testing in around three hours.
Additionally, Phytox supposedly offers testing labs up to 100% times greater sensitivity when detecting specific viruses while saving them 70% in expenses when compared to other viral testing methods now available on the market.
Co-Founder and CEO of PathogenDx Milan Patel noted that in order to protect public health and prevent producers from losing yields to pathogens that can cause huge economic damages, Phytox should become the new industry standard.
“Our patented technology shatters nearly all of the testing technology standards today for accuracy and efficiency in plant virus and pathogen detection. It is easy to administer and extraordinarily cost-effective, presenting a win-win scenario for both businesses and public health alike,” he said.
According to Patel, like in the previous years, we should expect to see more pathogens emerge due to the challenges that climate change presents to global food supplies.
“These unknowns have the potential to present a grave public health danger, which could catastrophically impact crops, global food supplies and lives.
“By using smart next-gen technologies like Phytox, together, we’re helping curb the spread of pathogens that have dire consequences. Our hope is to create a safer future today while simultaneously helping operators protect their yields and consumers,” he said.
According to the company, Phytox provides 100% assurance that there are no false positives with triplicate testing of each of the major nine viruses of concern within a single reaction. The technology was validated from 240 field samples across viruses and delivers 100% specificity, the company claims.
The manufacturer states that Phytox has up to 100 times greater sensitivity than the current viral testing technologies that are frequently used in cannabis, food, and agriculture, such as RT-qPCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and can accurately identify specific viruses at a much more granular level.
“As the cannabis, food and agricultural industries are confronted with new and different viruses, the beauty of the Phytox technology is its content scalability, where additional viral targets can be added in a fraction of time, cost and effort, thus ensuring ‘future proofing’ capability of the technology,” says Patel.
As opposed to requiring lab staff to undergo specific training outside of clipping and preparing the samples, Phytox uses common equipment that testing labs often have on hand.
The firm claims that Phytox detects viruses of concern with 100% accuracy utilizing 10 to 100 cells each reaction, whereas other technologies require testing of up to 10,000 cells per reaction.