COVID-19 Breakthrough: 20-Minute Blood Test To Detect Virus

Twenty minutes is all it takes to carry out a blood test to determine whether a person has coronavirus or not. Researchers at Australia’s Monash University claim it to be the world’s first breakthrough test.

“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,” Hindustan Times (HT) reported researchers as saying in a paper published in the journal ACS Sensors on Friday.

The test, using 25 microlitres of plasma from blood samples, looks for agglutination, or clustering of red blood cells, that the coronavirus causes, the report said.

The test can also determine if someone had been recently infected after the infection is resolved, said researchers.

Hundreds of samples can be tested every hour and researchers hope it can also be used to detect antibodies raised in response to vaccination to aid clinical trials, the report added.

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