Researchers at Monash University in Melbourne have developed new blood tests which they say can be detected positively corona virus (COVID-19) the case took only about 20 minutes and identified if someone had contracted a new virus, a finding that could help the world to reduce corona virus spread through strong contact tracking.
Researchers at the university developed a simple agglutination test, an analysis to determine the presence and amount of substances in the blood to detect the presence of increased antibodies in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
As part of the study, the research team was able to identify recent COVID-19 cases using 25 microliters of plasma from blood samples, the university said in a statement.
Positive COVID-19 cases cause agglutination or clustering of red blood cells, which are easily identified with the naked eye. The researchers can take positive or negative readings in about 20 minutes, according to the statement.
While swab / PCR tests are currently used to identify people who are currently positive with COVID-19, the agglutination test can determine whether someone has just been infected after the infection is resolved – and can potentially be used to detect antibodies that are raised in response to vaccinations to help clinical trials, the researchers said.
Using a simple laboratory set-up, this discovery could see medical practitioners around the world testing up to 200 blood samples per hour, they said.
In some hospitals with high-level diagnostic machines, more than 700 blood samples can be tested every hour – around 16,800 every day.
The research findings can help high-risk countries with population screening, case identification, contact tracing, confirmation of vaccine efficacy during clinical trials and vaccine distribution, the statement said.
A patent for innovation has been filed and researchers are seeking commercial and government support to increase production, he said.
Simon Corrie, a senior chemical engineering lecturer at Monash University, said the findings were of interest to governments and health care teams around the world in a race to stop the spread of COVID-19.
At present, there are more than 1.41,224,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide and more than 6.00,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Corrie said this practice has the potential to be immediately improved for serological testing.