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Rapid test discovers antibody effectiveness against Covid variants

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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)

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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. 

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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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