MAKO Medical Laboratories has released new details surrounding the company’s latest identification of COVID-19 variants. The national reference laboratory has become a leader in virus testing in recent months. Under the helm of dedicated CEO Chad Price, the healthcare company has identified variants across 9 of the 38 states in which it is conducting tests. This new information could be crucial in battling the virus.
The MAKO Medical Laboratories team’s recent sequencing of indicated samples has returned some interesting results. The laboratory experts have recently identified 88 variant cases of the novel coronavirus. This is an astounding amount and marks the most in one week since the team launched the sequencing research back in January 2021.
“Our sequencing efforts continue to follow reported trends of rising COVID-19 variants across the United States. We value our partnerships with state health officials, as we recognize the importance variant identifications have on the overall understanding of the virus and its mutation. We believe this work is vital to the health and safety of citizens across the United States,” said Steve Hoover, vice president of laboratory operations at MAKO Medical.”
Since the start of the year, the experts at MAKO Medical Laboratories have sequenced almost 372 samples and identified a total of 163 variant cases. The entire sequencing process takes around two to three days to complete. Under the guidance of Chad Price, the MAKO Medical team members have become experts in this type of research. Additionally, the company has now partnered with both state and local health officials to develop an understanding of the virus’ latest variants.
Many of the samples that the MAKO Medical team has sequenced contained telling variant markers, including the “S gene drop-out.” Gaining a knowledge of these new mutations of the novel coronavirus will help health officials make informed decisions. As the virus continues to mutate, this type of information could help officials create an action plan to continue fighting the pandemic and protecting public safety.
Currently, the predominant variant is the B1.1.7 mutation, which experts first identified in the United Kingdom. Since then, the overwhelming majority of MAKO Medical’s latest variant cases have been this mutation. The experts identified this variant in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Aside from that, the team has identified 11 cases of the B.1.351 in South Carolina.
Experts have now identified 981 B1.1.7 cases across 37 states, as well as 13 B.1.351 cases across 5 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The latest reports also suggest that experts have identified B1.1.7 in several countries around the world. Additionally, the B1.351 mutation originated in South Africa in October last year. Since then, the CDC has found that the two new variants share some mutations.
The B1.1.7 variant of COVID-19 and other mutations are highly contagious and may trigger inaccurate PCR and antigen test results if laboratories fail to test for multiple genes. In this instance, the testing issues would lead to further spreading of the COVID-19 virus and slow down any progress already made. Thanks to MAKO Medical Laboratories’ qPCR testing, the experts can identify positive cases based on three genes. These are the Orflab, N, and S genes, including the “S gene drop-out.”
MAKO Medical Laboratories has accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and has now performed more than five million COVID-19 tests. Using industry-leading testing assays, the team of experts can swiftly find new variants of the virus as it continues to mutate. These assays include the renowned Applied Biosystems TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Assay.
Chad Price’s healthcare company is also using the new next-generation sequencing (NGS) research panel in its research. The process means that experts can map more than 99 percent of the SARS-Cov-2 genome. This cutting-edge platform is useful when detecting the B.1.1.7 variant, along with further mutations of the virus.
Toward the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, CEO Chad Price decided to switch MAKO Medical’s primary focus. Since last year, the company has been testing for cases of the novel coronavirus and researching new variants of the virus. The company operates more than 70,000 square feet of space in two North Carolina facilities, situated in both Henderson and Raleigh.
The MAKO Medical team expanded the Henderson laboratory in 2020 as a direct response to the pandemic. The new space has increased the lab’s testing capacity from 50,000 per day to more than 150,000 per day. What’s more, in the last year, the MAKO Medical team has jumped from 350 staff members to more than 1,000 to date.
About MAKO Medical
With an expert team of nationally recognized medical doctors and doctorate holders, MAKO Medical Laboratories specializes in methodology development and pathological services. The game-changing healthcare company is now renowned across the United States for both its testing and research services.
Founded in 2014 by Chad Price, Adam Price, and Josh Arant, the business aims to disrupt the sector while also supporting the wider community and veterans. The industry-leading company combines a wealth of new technology including robotics, app platforms, and cloud-based tech. The result is an entirely new and reliable service for those working in the medical industry.