TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) is partnering with Kraken Sense, a leader in real-time pathogen detection devices, as part of a study funded in part by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to conduct tests on airport wastewater for Monkeypox and Omicron, a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Kraken Sense is testing multiple samples of wastewater at Toronto Pearson Airport using their technology to obtain quantitative results in under an hour without sacrificing the accuracy of results in contrast to traditional PCR technology, which can take multiple days to turnaround.
"We are proud to be part of this initiative with the GTAA, which is a first of its kind in Canada. By conducting these daily tests, we are able to provide insights into the leading variants circulating in the population to curb disease outbreaks. At Kraken Sense, we are leveraging every opportunity to improve public health and safety measures through cutting-edge technology," said Dr. Sarah Mishriki, Product Development Scientist at Kraken Sense. "This collaboration using KRAKEN technology has the potential to improve monitoring of diseases in Canada and across the world."
The KRAKEN pathogen detection device is completely autonomous, using automated real-time PCR technology to continuously monitor any liquid-based sample for bacteria and viruses for up to three targets at a time. The KRAKEN device can be programmed to automatically draw raw samples into the device at a desired frequency while performing all sample preparation and analysis autonomously on the device. Quantified results are uploaded onto the cloud for long-term monitoring of samples. With strain-specific capabilities, the KRAKEN can identify the exact variant present in a sample. As such, there is potential to provide health authorities with a clear picture of the strains present in wastewater effluent from airport terminals and aircrafts.
"As Canada’s airports return to full capacity, we are thrilled to be partnering with the GTAA and look forward to making transformative progress in ensuring our safety together," says Nisha Sarveswaran, CEO of Kraken Sense.
Wastewater monitoring is crucial to early detection, as infected individuals can shed pathogens before showing symptoms. With Kraken Sense's technology, quantified results are available in real time, providing quick and accurate identification of multiple COVID-19 strains. Since the KRAKEN tests cumulative wastewater from airplanes and terminals, testing is non-intrusive and does not slow down passenger traffic at the airports.
Rapid detection can provide an advance warning of a possible epidemic. Wastewater monitoring is vital to identifying infectious disease threats before they compromise public health, and KRAKEN is the first fully autonomous real-time pathogen detection platform that can provide continuous monitoring for potential pathogen surges, providing information that has the potential to support public health efforts.
About Kraken Sense:
Kraken Sense is a leading developer of autonomous real-time pathogen detection devices. Our mission is to make pathogen detection quick, easy, and accessible to everyone. With the advent of new and rapidly spreading pathogenic diseases as well as food and water resources coming under increasing pressure around the world, it is more important than ever to ensure that pathogen detection is fast, accurate, autonomous and non-invasive.
About Greater Toronto Airports Authority
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is the operator of Toronto – Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Canada’s largest airport and a vital connector of people, businesses and goods. Toronto Pearson has been named “Best Large Airport in North America serving more than 40 million passengers” for five years in a row by Airports Council International (ACI), the global trade representative of the world’s airports. In recognition of its Healthy Airport program, ACI has also awarded Toronto Pearson the “Best hygiene measures in North America” award for three years running, and Toronto Pearson was the first Canadian airport to receive ACI’s global health accreditation for its response to COVID-19.