An international research team led by Oxford University scientists has developed a portable test for antibodies that fight the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Healthcare professional conducting a finger prick blood test

An international research team led by the Townsend Group at the Medical Research Council Human Immunology Unit ((MRC HIU) with other Oxford University scientists has developed a portable test for antibodies that fight the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, published today in Nature Communications.

The test, which spots the presence of virus-fighting antibodies rather than a coronavirus infection, can be adapted to work on blood from a finger prick – making it quick and easy to use.  The research team, which includes scientists from Taiwan, India, Thailand and France, as well as UK university and NHS researchers, trialled the test on patients with COVID-19, but now hope to adapt it to identify those who have successfully generated antibodies after a vaccine, versus those who may need a booster. 

The scientists also hope that the large-scale use of their tests might help researchers and policy-makers track levels of protective immunity in the community. 

Read the full story on the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine website.

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