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Researchers develop new test for coronavirus exposure

February 25, 2021

Researchers of the Erasmus MC and Innatoss Laboratories will develop a specific and sensitive test to determine exposure to SARS-CoV-2. They focus on the T cells, while existing tests are mainly based on the detection of antibodies.

The research should lead to a new corona test, based on detection of T-cells. This is in addition to the existing antibody tests. 'People who have had a mild infection sometimes don't have enough antibodies to measure.There is evidence that T-cells are measurable in these individuals', says virologist Rory de Vries, who works in the Viroscience department of Erasmus MC.

Such a new test to measure the immune response can be used to determine whether someone has had the coronavirus. It may also determine whether someone is protected. Anja Garritsen of Innatoss from Oss sees the importance of such a T-cell test for diagnostics directly. 'With a test that can demonstrate SARS-CoV-2 specific T-cells, the testing possibilities for Covid-19 are complete. We can then demonstrate RNA and protein of the virus, and both antibodies and the T-cell response. There's a real need for this.'

Click here to read the interview with Rory de Vries.