,Singapore

SMART AMR develops first-of-its-kind 10-minute COVID immunity test

The new point-of-care test offers an accuracy rate of up to 93%.

Researchers, led by the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) interdisciplinary research group at Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), have successfully developed a rapid point-of-care test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies (NAbs).

This simple test, only requiring a drop of blood from a fingertip, can be performed within 10 minutes without the need for a laboratory or specially trained personnel. Currently, no similar NAb tests are commercially available within Singapore or elsewhere.

Despite the availability of various COVID-19 diagnostic tests, the detection of SARs-CoV-2 NAbs is still generally conducted at hospitals and specialised diagnostic laboratories. Currently, NAbs are commonly detected using virus neutralisation tests (VNTs). These require handling of live virus, a facility with rigorous biosafety and containment precautions, skilled personnel, and 2 to 4 days of processing time.

"Having the right test and information will be a crucial plan for the gradual opening of borders, economies, and societies. It will also ensure that it can be done safely without hampering current efforts to curb the spread of the virus," said SMART AMR scientific director Megan McBee.

SMART AMR developed the test with researchers from Nanyang Technological University, National University Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Centre for Life Sciences, and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore.

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