Researchers working on a test to identify those who are immune to COVID-19


Published April 8, 2020 at 12:02 am


Researchers at Sinai Health and the University of Toronto are working on developing a blood test that can determine who is immune to COVID-19 on a mass scale.

The test is an ELISA assay, and has the potential to allow hospitals and other institutions to screen up to 10,000 samples at once–effectively allowing entire workforces to be tested efficiently.

The test works by detecting antibodies to the virus in the blood, which remain even after the virus has been eliminated.

“The entire city has come together to make this possible,” Anne-Claude Gingras, the project’s co-lead, said in a news release.

“This test is being developed with the goal of monitoring the percentage of the population that has been infected and to help in identifying those individuals that may have protective immunity,” she continued.

The project is a collaboration between Gingras, and Jeff Wrana, who are both senior investigators a the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, and professors of molecular genetics at the University of Toronto, as well as a team of researchers from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, including James Rini.

“This test will allow us to track the true spread and magnitude of the disease,” Karen Maxwell, an assistant professor in the department of biochemistry at the University of Toronto, said in the same release.

“Determining who has been infected and has antibodies will be important information for making decisions about how and when we return to our normal activities,” she continued.

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