Researchers have developed a rapid test for the determination of neutralizing antibodies against Sars-Cov-2.
The test was developed at the Institute of Virology and Immunology (IVI) of the University of Bern and the Swiss Federal Office for Food Safety and Animal Health, and evaluated in cooperation with colleagues from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) using serum samples from Covid-19 patients.
The research was published in the journal Vaccines on July 15, 2020.
In order to detect antibodies against Sars-Cov-2, the researchers used another virus that doesn't propagate. They exchanged the envelope protein of this virus for the spike protein of the novel coronavirus, which mediates virus entry and infection. "As a result, the viruses can be identified by antibodies against Sars-Cov-2," lead author Toni-Luise Meister from the Department of Molecular and Medical Virology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, said in a release. "The antibodies bind to the viruses that have been altered in this way and neutralize them so that no longer can penetrate the host cells."
In order to check the reliability and comparability with the conventional neutralization test, the researchers applied it to blood samples from Covid-19 patients. Compared to 56 hours for the conventional test, the new test is much faster, with only 18 hours to the test result.