The new test screens for antibodies to the virus in plasma, the liquid in blood, to provide information about a person’s immune response to an infection.
Working around the clock for two weeks, a large team of Stanford Medicine scientists has developed a test to detect antibodies against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, in blood samples. In contrast to current diagnostic tests for COVID-19, which detect genetic material from the virus in respiratory secretions, this test looks for antibodies to the virus in plasma, the liquid in blood, to provide information about a person’s immune response to an infection. The effort has been led by Scott Boyd, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology and a leading expert in antibody research.
“It’s essential to have the right tools to understand the biology of the novel coronavirus,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine. “This test takes us one step closer to answering the many public health questions about COVID-19.”
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Test results will be reported in two parts: Positive or negative for antibodies. The test can then be used to help show whether, and for how long, someone with antibodies is protected against reinfection. Without this data it will be difficult to know when it is safe for individuals to return to normal activity. See Dr. Boyd's profile for more.
- Caption: Stanford Professor Scott Boyd Profile
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