The COVID test kit manufactured in Singapore can show the antibody level in 10 minutes

The COVID test kit manufactured in Singapore can show the antibody level in 10 minutes

COVID-19 Antibody Test Kit (right) and digital reader device (left in black), which can detect COVID-19 antibody levels from a drop of blood in just ten minutes.  (PHOTO: NTU Singapore, photo from Getty Images file)

COVID-19 Antibody Test Kit (right) and digital reader device (left in black), which can detect COVID-19 antibody levels from a drop of blood in just ten minutes. (PHOTO: NTU Singapore, photo from Getty Images file)

SINGAPORE – Singapore scientists have developed a test kit that can tell if a person has immunity against COVID-19 and its variants within 10 minutes and determine if a booster dose is needed.

The low-cost kit, developed by scientists from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), is up to 93% accuracy and uses a paper test coated with chemicals that bind to antibodies in a blood sample.

With one drop of blood, the test kit can quickly assess an individual’s antibody level against a specific variant of COVID-19, compared to the roughly 24-72 hours required for conventional lab tests, SMART and NTU said. in a statement to the media on Thursday (September 22).

This paves the way for more targeted vaccination strategies, in which people are given vaccinations and booster injections only when needed, depending on variance in antibody levels and immune response.

The low-cost tool can enable large-scale testing and be widely distributed, the statement said.

The findings were published in the scientific journal Microbiology Spectrum by the joint team led by SMART’s Antimicrobial Resistance Interdisciplinary Research Group and NTU’s School of Biological Sciences, in collaboration with the National University Hospital and the National Center for Infectious Diseases and the Massachusetts Institute. of Technology.

In Singapore, COVID-19 vaccines were estimated in February to have prevented 8,000 deaths, 33,000 severe cases, and 112,000 hospitalization episodes during last year’s Delta wave.

The joint research team’s study showed that the protection afforded by currently available vaccines steadily declines over three months, with varying degrees of decline among individuals.

After three months of booster injection, the neutralizing antibody (NAb) response against various viral strains for the wild type, which is naturally occurring and not mutated, and Delta dropped to approximately 91.8%, compared to 82.7 percent against Beta and Gamma and 70.7 percent against Omicron, according to the study.

Hoi Lok Cheng, co-author of the study and former postdoctoral fellow of the SMART team, said: “This is an exciting breakthrough for us and a continuation of our long-standing work to develop efficient, low-cost and easy-to-use solutions. NAb tests to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. “

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