This website is intended for healthcare professionals only.

Hospital Healthcare Europe
Hospital Pharmacy Europe     Newsletter    Login            

Blood test detects COVID-19 antibodies in 20 minutes

Scientists from Monash University, Australia, have developed a new test which can detect antibodies to COVID-19 in as little as 20 minutes.

The test is based on the same process used for blood group typing (that is, detecting if someone is type A, or blood type O etc) and relies on an agglutination assay.

Red blood cells are coated with peptides from COVID-19 and mixed with a patient’s blood sample. If the patient’s blood contains antibodies to COVID-19, these react with the coated red blood cells and clump together (that is, agglutinate).

The sample is centrifuged and placed on a gel card which contains a separation media and due to its size, the antibody-red blood cell complex cannot pass through the gel card, and the complex becomes visible as a red line which can be easily visualised on the gel cards.

Article continues below this sponsored advert
Cogora InRead Image
Explore the latest advances in respiratory care at events delivered by renowned experts from CofE

The assay was tested on ten samples of blood, five of which were positive for COVID-19 and the researchers found that the agglutination reaction was absent from samples without the antibodies.

The authors, who have filed for a patent, called to the test to be further evaluated with a larges sample but commented that because the assay is based on a commonly used laboratory process routinely available across the world, it could be easily scaled up and used to quickly assess for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies.

Alves D et al. Rapid Gel Card Agglutination Assays for Serological Analysis Following SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Humans. ACS sens 2020.