The diffusion of novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus over the world generated COVID-19 pandemic event as reported by World Health Organization on March 2020. The huge issue is the high infectivity and the absence of vaccine and customised drugs allowing for hard management of this outbreak, thus a rapid and on site analysis is a need to contain the spread of COVID-19. Herein, we developed an electrochemical immunoassay for rapid and smart detection of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in saliva. The electrochemical assay was conceived for Spike (S) protein or Nucleocapsid (N) protein detection using magnetic beads as support of immunological chain and secondary antibody with alkaline phosphatase as immunological label. The enzymatic by-product 1-naphtol was detected using screen-printed electrodes modified with carbon black nanomaterial. The analytical features of the electrochemical immunoassay were evaluated using the standard solution of S and N protein in buffer solution and untreated saliva with a detection limit equal to 19 ng/mL and 8 ng/mL in untreated saliva, respectively for S and N protein. Its effectiveness was assessed using cultured virus in biosafety level 3 and in saliva clinical samples comparing the data using the nasopharyngeal swab specimens tested with Real-Time PCR. The agreement of the data, the low detection limit achieved, the rapid analysis (30 min), the miniaturization, and portability of the instrument combined with the easiness to use and no-invasive sampling, confer to this analytical tool high potentiality for market entry as the first highly sensitive electrochemical immunoassay for SARS-CoV-2 detection in untreated saliva.
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References

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