New blood test to trace coronavirus in 20 minutes

Chennai: Scientists at Monash University in Melbourne have developed a new blood test that they say can detect positive Covid-19 cases in just about 20 minutes and identify if someone has contracted the novel virus.

Researchers at the university developed the simple agglutination assay, an analysis to determine the presence and amount of a substance in blood to detect the presence of antibodies raised in response to the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The team of researchers were able to identify recent Covid-19 cases using 25 microlitres of plasma from blood samples, the university said in a statement.

Positive Covid-19 cases caused an agglutination or a clustering of red blood cells, which was easily identifiable to the naked eye. Researchers were able to retrieve positive or negative readings in about 20 minutes, added the statement.

While the current swab/PCR tests are used to identify people who are currently positive with Covid-19, the agglutination assay can determine whether someone had been recently infected once the infection is resolved and could potentially be used to detect antibodies raised in response to vaccination to aid clinical trials, the researchers said.

 

NT Bureau