COVID-19 LFT cheat the tests with soft drinks

Τα παιδιά πάντα θα βρίσκουν τρόπους να μην πάνε στο σχολείο και ο τελευταίος είναι ξεγελάνε τα COVID-19 lateral flow tests (LFT) για να δείχνουν θετικά using soft drinks. So how can fruit juices and Coca-Cola fool the tests?

If you do a simple test and drop a drop of orange soda or Coca-Cola directly into an LFT, a few minutes later two lines will appear on the test, indicating the presumed presence of the virus causing COVID-19.

covid rapid test

But let's see how the tests work. If you open one LFT, θα βρείτε κάτι σαν χαρτί, που ονομάζεται νιτροκυτταρίνη και ένα μικρό κόκκινο μαξιλάρι, κρυμμένο κάτω από το πλαστικό περίβλημα. Στο απορροφητικό κόκκινο επίθεμα υπάρχουν τα αντισώματα που συνδέονται με τον ιό COVID-19. Υπάρχουν επίσης νανοσωματίδια χρυσού (μικροσκοπικά σωματίδια χρυσού που αργότερα εμφανίζονται σαν κόκκινα), τα οποία μας επιτρέπουν να δούμε πού βρίσκονται τα αντισώματα στη συσκευή. Όταν κάνετε μια δοκιμή, αναμιγνύετε το δείγμα σας με ένα buffer, ensuring the sample has the optimal pH, before instilling it into the device.

The liquid is absorbed by the nitrocellulose strip and "touches" the gold and antibodies. The positive progeny sticks to the antibody gold and passes through a second set of antibodies. The virus then binds to both sets of antibodies displaying a duplex in the test, essentially indicating that whoever did the test is positive for the coronavirus.

So how can a soft drink cause a red line to appear?

One possibility is that the drinks contain something that the test recognizes as a virus. But this is rather unlikely. The samples collected are by nose or mouth, and seem to be completely unaware of a mess of proteins, other viruses and leftovers from your breakfast. Therefore, they are not going to react to the ingredients of a soft drink.

Another more likely explanation is that something in the drinks affects the function of the antibodies. All liquids that can fool the tests have one thing in common: they are acidic. Citric acid in orange juice, phosphoric acid in Coca-Cola and malic acid in apple juice give these drinks a pH between 2,5 and 4. These are very harsh conditions for antibodies, which work with almost neutral pH around 7,4.

Maintaining an ideal pH for antibodies is the for the test to work properly and that is the job of the solution (the liquid buffer) that you mix your sample with. The crucial role of the solution is shown by the fact that if you mix it with coke then the LFT will behave exactly as you would expect: the test will be negative.

Thus, without the buffer, the test antibodies are exposed to the acidic pH of the beverages. This seems to have a dramatic effect on their structure and function. Antibodies are proteins, which are made up of amino acid building blocks, joined together to form long, linear chains. Even a small change in these chains can dramatically affect the function of a protein.

Thus in acidic conditions, the protein is charged more and more positively. As a result, many of the interactions that hold the protein together are disrupted, its fine structure is affected, and it no longer functions properly. In this case, the sensitivity of the antibodies to the virus is lost. The Best Technology Site in Greecefgns

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Written by giorgos

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