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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University develop rapid blood test to confirm Covid-19 vaccination

Results come back in less than five minutes, faster than current lateral flow tests that detect antibodies at hospitals.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
June 5, 2021 11:53:40 am
A health worker administers a dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Mumbai on Saturday. (Express Photo: Amit Chakravarty)

A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University in the United States have developed a rapid blood test that could confirm if a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19 or not.

At a time when the world is looking to reopen gradually, the test may come handy at an airport or a stadium, where a large number of people wait before entering a closed space. The Covid-19 antibody test is similar to the one used at home to determine blood type, where the user pricks a finger and places a drop of blood on a card. A fusion protein developed by the research team is housed on the card which detects Covid-19 antibodies.

Results come back in less than five minutes, faster than current lateral flow tests to detect antibodies at point of care, while also potentially providing a clearer result.

Robert Kruse, the researcher who created the blood test, said it could be used to confirm a person’s inoculation status instead of having to show a vaccine card.

The test, which was carried out on 400 blood samples, correctly identified antibodies in previously infected patients 87.5 per cent of the time, a slightly higher rate than the ELISA tests done in hospitals that require hours to perform.

“Immunocompromised patients, who studies have shown don’t always respond to the Covid-19 vaccine, could test their antibody level and see if the vaccine is working for them,” Yuting Huang, Kruse’s co-author and a research fellow at Johns Hopkins, said.

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