Rapid Molecular NAAT Testing | Sentio Protect


James Hammond looks at the emergence of portable genetic testing technologies. The solution for safer and more efficient operations onboard

While voluntary vaccinations have played a key role in reducing the risk of hospitalisations and fatalities from Covid-19, they are not a silver bullet. Vaccination does not work well for everyone, and there is a growing body of evidence that they are not preventing infection and are becoming less effective against the more transmissible variants, such as Delta.

Studies from the CDC in the US found that vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant carried tremendous amounts of the virus in the nose and throat. Front line reports from hospitals in Israel, one of the world’s most vaccinated countries showed that 90% of severe covid patients were fully vaccinated. Closer to home you may have seen the recent report from Carnival Cruise Line that their vessel Vista had 26 crew test positive despite them all being vaccinated and not showing any symptoms.

Our consultant clinical scientist and virologist have been advising that ships are higher risk environments for SARS-CoV-2 and moving forward the challenge is how do we minimise the risk of transmission onboard without causing adverse disruption to vessel operations?

How does this technology help?

Imagine a world where you no longer needed to leave the vessel to get tested for Covid-19. Bringing your molecular testing programme in-house gives more control and flexibility to test when and wherever you are. Protecting the crew and guests while maintaining operational efficiency, negating shoreside crew isolation and testing for international travel.

Our onboard rapid molecular NAAT testing solution powered by Cue Health Diagnostics in San Diego is a genuine game-changer. It only needs a non-invasive lower nose swab, has no sample preparation, is highly accurate with 99% sensitivity, 98% specificity, has digital connectivity through the health app pre-configured on the apple mini tablet with test results in under 20 mins!

The reference standard for molecular testing is NAAT (Nucleic Acid Amplification Test) which has been commonly termed PCR, but technically this is just one of the NAAT amplification methods. The latest WHO

recommendations for national SARS-CoV-2 testing strategies and diagnostic capacities dated 25th June has stated that ‘Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) are the reference standard for diagnosis of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.’

Technical requirements for testing has been standardised at an EU level and this is why you are seeing countries such as Spain now requiring a NAAT test for entry, not PCR. The Cue test has received certification under multiple medical approvals including the FDA, EU CE IVD, Health Canada and India’s Ministry of Health.

SENTIO have been working with Cue Health for months developing this unique platform for onboard use and have the international distribution rights for maritime application.

For more details Tel: +44 (0)207 111 0817
or visit www.sentiosuperyacht.com