Immunodiagnostics to detect the COVID-19 virus
Charlotte Hauser is developing reliable, robust, simple and cost-effective detection tests for COVID-19. Immunodiagnostic tests are useful measures for the detection, management and control of the increasing spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They utilize a technology called ELISA, which is based on serological testing to recognize antibodies induced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus or to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself. The test will utilize small blood droplets to test for existing antibodies within individuals to monitor if the person is—or already has been—infected. Such tests can also help the community to identify people that carry antibodies against the SARS-Cov-2 virus and who may now be immune against COVID-19.
The test will support monitoring the spread of the virus, tracing super spreaders and people at risk. Identifying immune patients who are willing to donate their blood serum could enable doctors to have immunization treatments for SARS-CoV-2 virus-infected people at hand. The test can also be used to immunize the most at-risk medical personnel against possible future viral infections. Simple finger-prick tests, dipsticks or lateral flow devices similar to the ones used for monitoring diabetes or the onset of pregnancies are planned to be used, since fast, inexpensive and easy-to-use diagnostic kits will be beneficial for rapid field testing and for areas where infrastructure, resources and expertise are restricted.