Researchers in Australia have devised a blood test that can determine the presence of novel coronavirus infection in 20 minutes, and they consider it the world-first breakthrough during the pandemic.
The research experts from Monash University believe that the coronavirus blood test can identify if a person was infected in the past or if one is currently infected. The research team of BioPRIA led the experts from the Chemical Engineering Department of Monash University and the research team from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent BioNano Science and Technology (CBNS). They commented in the ACS Sensors journal paper that,
“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 long-term need.”
Coronavirus causes clusters of red blood cells and agglutination in the blood; therefore, the test utilizes 25 microliters of blood plasma to test the sample.
Experts on the study also suggest that the current swab test identifies the people who are currently infected with COVID-19; the coronavirus blood test can detect the presence of the virus in a recovered and current patient.
The 20-minute COVID-19 blood test allows the professionals to test hundreds of samples every hour, and it is anticipated that the test can determine antibodies against coronavirus to aid the clinical vaccination trials.
Currently, the research team is looking forward to the government and commercial support to expand the process of production.
The novel coronavirus cases in Australia are more than 11,000, with 116 reported deaths. However, on a global level, 13.8 million people are infected with approximately 600,000 deaths.