Australian researchers 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.
Monash University said their test can determine 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,” a paper published in the journal ACS Sensors said.
The test includes 25 microlitres of plasma from blood samples, looks for agglutination, or a clustering of red blood cells, that the coronavirus causes.
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.
The virus has infected 13,996,881 people so far globally, while 5,93,776 people have succumbed to the infection.