The breakthrough COVID-19 blood test has been achieved by researchers at BioPRIA, Monash University’s Chemical Engineering Department and ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent BioNano Science and Technology (CBNS). The research has now been published in the journal ACS centres..
As per the researchers, the test is able to determine if someone is currently infected with COVID-19 and if they have been infected in the past.Short-term applications include rapid case identification and contact tracing to limit viral spread, while population screening to determine the extent of viral infection across communities is a longer-term need,” the researchers said on Friday.
The covid-19 blood test looks out for agglutination, or a clustering of red blood cells caused by the coronavirus.The novel test uses 25 microlitres of plasma from blood samples to conduct agglutination assay, an analysis to detect the presence and quantity of a substance in blood.Since the researchers have discovered it to be an all new method, the team has filed for a patent on the same and are seeking commercial and government support to scale up production.
The researchers claim that the one-of-its-kind test is much faster than the regular swab test. “Hundreds of samples can be tested every hour,” the researchers assert. Interestingly, the test can also be used to find out if someone had been recently infected with COVID-19, even after the infection is resolved. In contrast, the swab test can only identify those with active traces of the coronavirus.
This property can potentially also make the new-found test useful for trials for vaccine candidates against the disease.