Australian researchers invent 20-minute coronavirus blood test in world first

Vials containing swab samples with genetic material for tests to detect the presence of the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes the pandemic COVID-19 disease. EPA-EFE/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU

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The South China Morning Post is reporting that researchers in Australia have devised a test that can determine novel coronavirus infection in about 20 minutes.

Using blood samples in what they say is a world-first breakthrough, the researchers at Monash University said their test can determine both if someone is currently infected and if they have been infected in the past.

“Short-term applications include rapid case identification and contact tracing to limit viral spread, while population screening to determine the extent of viral infection across communities is a longer-term need,” the researchers said in a paper published in the journal ACS Sensors on Friday.

Hundreds of samples can be tested every hour, the researchers said, and they hope it can also be used to detect antibodies raised in response to vaccination to aid clinical trials.

A patent for the innovation has been filed and the researchers are seeking commercial and government support to scale up production.

Read more via The South China Morning Post

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