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Australia develops breakthrough blood test for COVID-19 detection

A simple agglutination assay, an analysis to determine whether a substance is present and how much it is in your blood, was developed by the research team led by the Australia BioPRIA and the Monash University Chemical Engineering University including researchers at the BioPRIA Center of Excellence in Converging BioNano Science and Technology (CBNS).

Positive COVID-19 cases resulted in a grouping or cluster of red blood cells that could easily be identified by the naked eye. In about 20 minutes, researchers could obtain positive or negative readings.

The agglutination test can determine whether someone has been recently infected once an infection has been resolved and can potentially be used to detect antibodies raised as part of the immunization to help clinical trials.

Using a simple laboratory setup, medical doctors all over the world could test up to 200 blood samples an hour in this discovery. More than 700 blood samples could be tested every hour in some hospitals with high-quality diagnostic machines, some 16,800 daily.

The results of the study could help high-risk countries with population checks, case identification, contact tracing, clinical trial confirmation of vaccine efficacy, and vaccine distribution.

A patent has been filed for the innovation and researchers seek support for commercial and government suppo