New covid-19 antibody test shows results in 15 minutes

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/11 18:08:40

A staff checks the nucleic acid test kit at the plant of Luoyang Ascend Biotechnology Co., Ltd in Luoyang, central China's Henan Province, March 4, 2020. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese medical scientists have developed a rapid antibody test that can diagnose the coronavirus within 15 minutes by testing a drop of blood from fingertips.

Led by Chinese top medical expert Zhou Nanshan, a task force said that the antibody test aims to offer an accurate and rapid method to quickly identify infected patients and asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus.

According to the team, clinical studies of the new test kit have been carried out in eight clinical sites across the country, which validated the clinical detection sensitivity, specificity and clinical efficacy of the new test kit. 

Compared with the nucleic acid RT‐PCR test, which takes 3-4 hours to produce results, the new kit can detect the antibodies against the virus in human blood within 15 minutes with an overall testing sensitivity of 88.66 percent and specificity of 90.63 percent. 

In addition, the team found that the clinical diagnosis results obtained from finger blood, serum and plasma of venous blood indicated great detection consistency, which means there will be a more convenient test method in the future by only testing the finger blood of a suspected patient.

The team said that they expect the new test kits to play a role in clinical diagnosis and rapid screening of SARS‐CoV‐2 carriers, symptomatic or asymptomatic, at a time when China embarks on massive work resumption where large passenger flows are expected.


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