Health Headlines

Australia develops new Blood Tests to detect COVID-19 cases in 20 minutes!

Australian researchers have come up with a new testing standard that can detect a positive case within 20 minutes. How will this be helpful in the fight against Coronavirus?

In contrast to today’s COVID-19 tests that take a couple of days to receive results, Australian researchers have developed a new testing method that can give out the results in flat 20 minutes. The blood tests conducted on the suspects can now let you know whether you have contracted the virus in the shortest possible time.

The world’s first blood test research conducted by Monash University in Australia has been able to determine the infection in just under 20 minutes. The research was led by BioPRIA and Monash’s Chemical Engineering Department and includes scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent BioNano Science and Technology (CBNS).

The tests make use of agglutination assay principle. It involves taking a sample of 25 ml of blood plasma and detecting the antibodies developed in response to the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The tests being held currently determine whether the individual is positive with the disease, while this new test lets you know whether the person already has the disease.

The experts are of the opinion that the new test can be helpful in an efficient contact tracing. It can help you test over 200 suspects within one hour. If the laboratory has an automated system, the testing capability can be augmented to around 700 samples per hour.

The research was recently published in Journal ACS Sensors. A patent has been applied for the research. A proper sponsored commercial or government support can prove to be handy enough for taking it really forward.

The researchers state that

“Short-term applications include rapid case identification and contact tracing to limit the viral spread, while population screening to determine the extent of viral infection across communities is a longer-term need. Assays developed to address these needs should match the ASSURED criteria.”

The ASSURED criteria stated above refers to the guidelines put forth by the WHO for the diagnostic tests. It is an Acronym and stands for Affordable, Sensitive, Specific, User-friendly, Rapid and robust, Equipment-free and Deliverable to end-users. 

While the new research has been observed to be quite effective and efficient in handling SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 testing, it should also be noticed that it can also be useful for diagnostic tests beyond COVID. One of the huge advantages of the new technique is the ability to detect the creation of antibodies raised in the blood due to vaccination. This is one of the best benefits that can be a boon for the clinical trials currently underway for checking the spread of the epidemic.

COVID-19 has spread its tentacles in an unforeseen scenario that has resulted in over 600,000 deaths and 13.8 million detected cases all around the globe.

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