SHIELD FAQ - Can the SHIELD COVID test catch mutations or variants? If so, which ones can it detect?
This test looks for 3 different SARS-CoV-2 genes. That way, even if a mutation changes one gene, the test will be able to detect it. The SHIELD test can also detect all currently known variants. That ability is monitored rigorously by Thermo-Fischer, which produces the part of the test used to identify SARS-CoV-2.
If a virus is a B.1.1.7 variant, only 2 of the 3 genes the test looks for will be apparent. No other variants are distinguishable with this test.