To the extent of the pandemic show: researchers develop antibody test for Sars-CoV-2

Scientists are looking for with a high-pressure methods, the actual spread of the Coronavirus to assess. An antibody test is now to help. He’s supposed to show who had the disease already immune, and the Virus can no longer continue to give.

The extent of the Corona-pandemic estimate is not difficult. Too many people become ill without showing symptoms, in others the disease manifests itself only as a slight cold. Not be tested in these individuals, the number of unreported cases is probably high. In addition, no clear-cut mortality rate, the number of Infected who die of the disease, it can be determined, as long as not all cases are known.

New York researchers want to change that now. They developed a Test, the antibodies to prove to a Sars-CoV-2 infection. The scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai published their study provisionally on the Preprint Server “medRxiv”.

Accordingly, the study has not been reviewed by independent experts. Study author Florian chamber but rest assured, the procedure had proven successful in several experiments. The procedure was easy and in a larger scale not applicable. Thus, several thousand people per day could be “tested,” said Kammerer to the journal “Science”. In New York the procedure is to be applied already.   

So the anti-body works-Test

In order to understand how the Test works, it is first important, the effect of the Virus in the body to know: Get Sars-CoV2 in the body, it uses its Envelope protein, the so-called Spike or S Protein, such as a hook, to host cells to dock. Therefore, the S Protein is one of the most important points of attack for the immune cells.

For the development of the Tests, the scientists used a slightly modified variant of the S-Protein, it worked equally as a point of Attack for the anti-body. Cell cultures from blood and plasma samples were able to measure, the researchers then, whether antibodies had accumulated.

The determined using a so-called “ELISA”test (enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay), a method for the detection and determination of the concentration of antibodies.

Experts WHO have recently given in a comment in The journal “The Lancet,” an Overview of the international activities for the Virus-containment and risk assessment. These are the core statements:

  • Corona seems to be genetically to be stable. On the basis of 500 Virus gene sequences, there is no evidence on the development of novel virus strains.
  • Infection by hospital personnel in China to be the exception. This suggests that the recommended protective measures for hospital personnel are effective.
  • So far, the detection of an infection is based on PCR Tests. Serological testing (blood samples) are in development but not yet validated.
  • The Virus production is at the beginning of an infection seems to be the highest – possibly even before symptoms Occur. Many countries begin with the identification of contact persons 1 to 2 days before onset of symptoms in an Infected.

The first experiments were successful

The scientists reviewed their procedures on the basis of the blood of three Covid-19-patient samples. They compared them with 59 samples from patients from the time before the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

These were partially infected with other viruses such as the Hantavirus or dengue virus, or the so-called human Coronavirus NL63. The latter uses the same Receptor as Sars-CoV-2, to infect host cells and triggers the most Infected are also common cold symptoms.

The experiments were successful, the Test showed only Covid-19 patients with a positive result. Even when Coronavirus NL63, the result was negative, the two coronaviruses NL63 and Sars-CoV-2 are neutralized by various antibodies.

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Here, the Test has to help

The researchers apply the Test in the New York clinic to find out when in the course of the disease antibodies are formed. Until these are detectable in the blood, it usually takes something. For quick tests during acute disease the process is therefore not suitable.

Instead, want the researchers to Test the support of Covid-10-patients simplify. You could in the future use Doctors and nursing staff who tested positive for the antibody and thus, is immune.

Also give it in the long term, the possibility of an immune therapy for difficult-to Covid-19 Diseased to develop. Patients could then get blood or plasma donations, in which antibodies are included.

Another advantage is that You can know which part of the population against the Virus, immune is. Also cases in children, which are usually no symptoms show, could be determined. This could then, for example, go back to school, adults back to work.

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