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Rapid test discovers antibody effectiveness against Covid variants

The rapid test is able to quickly and easily confirm how well a person’s antibodies can fight infection against multiple variants of Covid, including the Delta and the new Omicron variant. 

Scientists say the new test could tell doctors how protected a patient is from any variant. 

Plus it can help doctors identify which monoclonal antibodies to treat a Covid patient with. 

The test can identify antibodies. (Canva)

One of the members of the team behind the test, Cameron Wolfe, associate professor of medicine at the Duke University of Medicine in America, said: 

“We currently really have no rapid way of assessing variants, neither their presence in an individual nor the ability of antibodies we possess to make a difference.

“It’s one of the lingering fears that, as we successfully vaccinate more and more people, a variant may emerge that more radically evades vaccine-induced antibody neutralisation.

“And if that fear came true if Omicron turned out to be a worst-case scenario, how would we know quickly enough?”

How does the test work?

The test is called the Covid-19 Variant Spike-ACE-Competitive Antibody Neutralisation assay or for short the CoVaraint-SCAN. 

Hinging on a polymer brush coating it acts as a non-stick coating to only allow the desired biomarkers from attaching to the test slide when wet by stopping anything else. 

The new technology was tested various ways including testing plasma taken from healthy vaccinate people and those currently infected with the virus. 

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