SYDNEY (Reuters) – Researchers in Australia have devised a test that can determine unique coronavirus infection in about 20 minutes using blood samples in what they say is a world-first breakthrough.The researchers at Monash University said their test can determine if somebody is presently infected and if they have been contaminated in the past.” Short-term applications consist of fast case recognition and contact tracing to limit viral spread, while population screening to identify the degree of viral infection across communities is a longer-term need,” the scientists said in a paper released in the journal ACS Sensors on Friday.The research team was led by BioPRIA and Monash Universitys Chemical Engineering Department, including scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent BioNano Science and Technology (CBNS). Their test, using 25 microlitres of plasma from blood samples, tries to find agglutination, or a clustering of red blood cells, that the coronavirus causes.While the current swab test is utilized to identify people who are contaminated with the coronavirus, the agglutination assay – or analysis to spot the existence and amount of a compound in blood – can also determine if somebody had actually been just recently infected, after the infection is dealt with, they said.Hundreds of samples can be evaluated every hour, the scientists said, and they hope it can also be utilized to discover antibodies raised in action to vaccination to aid scientific trials.A patent for the development has actually been filed and the scientists are looking for commercial and federal government support to scale up production.The novel coronavirus has contaminated more than 13.8 million people around the world and eliminated nearly 600,000 since it emerged in China late last year. Australia has reported more than 11,000 cases and 116 deaths.( Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Robert Birsel).
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