In recent weeks, two new Omicron subvariants have increasingly dominated the infection landscape in Europe. These subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 were first detected in South Africa  and differ from the previously predominant Omicron variants BA.1 and BA.2 by a large number of mutations. These prevent recognition by the immune system and thus lead to more rapid spread.
Crucially, both Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 can still be reliably detected with our Testsealabs Antigen Rapid Test. The mutations of the subvariants mainly affect the spike protein, which is required for cell invasion and recognition by the immune system. The nucleocapsid protein is not altered in the predominant BA.5 variant compared to other Omikron variants. The BA.4 variant carries only one mutation, which according to laboratory studies has no effect on the recognition of the test.
Nevertheless, it is important for us to also examine effects of virus concentration and swab location and to validate the bioinformatic analyses in the laboratory. Therefore, we have already relied on our German partner laboratory Biomex GmbH for the Delta and Omicron variants . We will keep you informed as soon as these laboratory results are also available for the new Omicron subvariants.
The Testsealabs Antigen Rapid Test
Reliable detection of the Omikron virus variant
Can be performed as pharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swab or swab in the anterior nasal region
Evaluated by the Paul Ehrlich Institute
CE-certified and reimbursable test, listed by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices BfArM according to the Coronavirus Test Ordinance (TestV) under the number AT 082/20.
Designed as Point of Care (POC): all consumables included
Manufacturer listing in the RAT list of the European Commission: Hangzhou Testsea Biotechnology Co., Ltd, JRC Database 1392
 Continued Emergence and Evolution of Omicron in South Africa: New BA.4 and BA.5 lineages, https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.05.01.22274406