Scientists Develop Breakthrough Antibody Tests That Detects Delta Variant

Scientists Develop Breakthrough Antibody Tests That Detects Delta Variant. image: Wikimedia

Scientists Develop Breakthrough Antibody Tests That Detects Delta Variant.

Scientists have developed “game-changing” antibody tests that can detect whether people have been exposed to new variants of Covid-19- including the new Indian Delta mutation that is causing the UK’s ‘Freedom Day’ to be delayed.

Researchers said the new tests can detect antibody responses to infection by SARS-CoV-2 virus with more than 98% accuracy and 100% specificity, in contrast to currently available tests which are around 60-93% accurate and cannot differentiate between unique variants.

The new tests can be used to estimate the prevalence of circulating variant strains in the community, including the Alpha and Delta variants which were first identified in Kent and in India respectively.

Scientists said the tests have the potential to “dramatically change the trajectory of recovery” from the pandemic. The tests can assess the long-term immunity of an individual and whether immunity is vaccine-induced or is a result of previous exposure to the infection.

As a bonus, [they] say can also provide information that can be used to estimate how long immunity provided by the vaccine lasts as well as the effectiveness of the vaccine on emerging variants.

The tests were a result of a collaboration between the University of Aberdeen and the biotechnology group Vertebrate Antibodies Ltd and NHS Grampian.

Sir Simon told an NHS annual conference: “It is now very important that we use the next four weeks to finish the job to the greatest extent possible for the Covid vaccination programme, which has been a historic signature achievement in terms of the effectiveness of delivering by the NHS – over 60 million doses now administered.

“By July 19 we aim to have offered perhaps two-thirds of adults across the country double jabs and we’re making great strides also in extending the offer to all adults, today people aged 23 and 24 are able to vaccinate through the National Booking Service.

“I expect that by the end of this week, we’ll be able to open up the National Booking Service to all adults age 18 and above. Of course, vaccine supply continues to be constrained, so we’re pacing ourselves at precisely the rate of which we’re getting that extra vaccine supply between now and July 19.”

“Today I’m asking the health service to gear up for what are likely to be a new category of such treatments, so-called neutralising monoclonal antibodies, which are potentially going to become available to us within the next several months.

“But in order to be able to administer them, we’re going to need community services that are able to deliver through regional networks this type of infusion in patients before they are hospitalised, typically within a three-day window from the date of infection.

“So the logistics and the organisation and applying the full excellence of the sort of networked NHS services locally through integrated care systems, we’re going to need to harness all of that, to be able to benefit from the new monoclonal antibodies.

“We are setting out a set of asks as to how to bring that about in each integrated care system so that as and when the treatments become available to us, they can immediately begin to be deployed.”

It comes after the NHS announced that it would be ploughing significant funds into services for people with long Covid, including 15 new hubs set up to help children and young people affected by ongoing symptoms.


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Written by

Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.

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