Australian researchers reveal application for rapid identification of Covid-19

by Maruf Adedeji

Australian researchers have invented a blood-sample test that can determine the infection status of coronavirus disease in less than 20 minutes.

In what is seen as world-first breakthrough, the Monash University researchers said the test could identify the present and past statuses of a person regarding coronavirus infection.

The ACS Sensors published research released on Friday July 17, 2020, revealed short-term applications that can allow rapid case identification and contact tracing to limit viral spread.

The longer-term applications in the research can be used for population screening to determine the extent of viral infection across communities.

BioPRA and Monash University’s Chemical Engineering department led the research team, which comprised researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent BioNano Science and Technology.

While the current swab test is used to identify people who are infected with the coronavirus, the agglutination assay – or analysis to detect the presence and amount of a substance in blood – can also determine if someone had been recently infected, after the infection is resolved, they said.

The researchers explained further that hundred of samples can be tested in one hour, while they also expressed optimism that it will be good for antibodies detection in the process of clinical trials of coronavirus vaccines.

A patent for the innovation has been filed and the researchers look forward to a high production through commercial and government support.

As it stands, the world has recorded over 13.8 million cases and 600,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic since its first case recorded in China in December last year.

Australia has reported over 11,000 cases and 116 deaths from the coronavirus infection, so far.

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