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New, Unique COVID-19 Antibody Test Gives More Detailed Information on How Immune System Reacts To SARS-CoV-2

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 30 Dec 2020
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Image: Attana Cell 250 instrument (Photo courtesy of Attana)
Image: Attana Cell 250 instrument (Photo courtesy of Attana)
A new type of rapid antibody test is being developed by researchers that can give more detailed information as compared to the binary antibody tests used today on how the human immune systems react to COVID-19 and other types of viruses and bacteria.

The research groups at Linnaeus University (Växjö, Sweden) and Attana (Stockholm, Sweden) are currently developing and evaluating a new diagnostic platform with the name AVA (Attana Virus Analytics). Tests have been conducted through serum, plasma, and full blood analyses to study individuals’ immune response to SARS Cov-2 and the bacteria Clostridium tetani, which causes tetanus. The samples have been collected from both the bend of the arm and from finger sticks with promising results, which enables easy sampling where results can be ready in 15 minutes.

AVA gives a more nuanced picture of how our immune systems react to different types of viruses and bacteria than the binary tests that are used today. A unique thing about AVA is that the diagnostics platform not only ensures that an antibody test is correct, it can also offer insights concerning the sustainability of immunity. By collecting data on the quantity and quality of antibodies in a sample and then comparing these with samples taken at a later time, an immunity development profile can be established. AVA also offers laboratories the opportunity to validate already existing test results with great accuracy. The platform can assist decision makers concerning, for instance, recommendations, restrictions, and vaccination. Better tests for antibodies will impact at all levels, from individual to authorities as well as for companies and society at large.

“Thanks to this new platform, we obtain a detailed picture of what antibodies are present and how strongly they interact with COVID-19. This should, among other things, help decide who needs to take vaccine and how well an individual has responded to a vaccine,” said Ian Nicholls, professor of chemistry at Linnaeus University.

“Our vision is a general diagnostics platform that is relevant not just at present, during the ongoing pandemic, but one that will also serve a greater broader purpose in the future,” said Teodor Aastrup, CEO at Attana.

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Linnaeus University

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