In a new study from the University of Aberdeen, researchers found a new test using AI-assisted technology is almost 100% accurate in detecting COVID antibodies.
The Universal EpitoGen SARS-Cov-2-test passed the quality assurance assessments by the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) with a reported accuracy that would outperform existing COVID tests.
The new test detected antibody responses to infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus from patient samples with more than 99.5% accuracy and 98.5% specificity.
Unlike the ‘traditional,” currently used tests, which can become less accurate as new variants emerge, the innovative EpitoGen technology is just as effective in detecting an antibody response to new variants without losing accuracy.
Therefore, the new tests can be used to estimate the prevalence of circulating variant strains in the community, including the OMICRON variant.
Funded by the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office Rapid Response in COVID-19 (RARC-19) research program, the team of scientists from the University of Aberdeen, with industry partners Vertebrate Antibodies Ltd and colleagues in NHS Grampian, joined forces to develop these new tests using innovative AI antibody technology known as EpitoGen.
The Universal EpitoGen test is one of a suite of tests currently in development.
These include tests that can also assess the effectiveness of vaccines against new mutations and allow the incorporation of new mutations into existing tests in a matter of days—something that is not possible using the current technology.
These tests can be adapted quickly and efficiently to incorporate new mutations—an important development, as researchers are right now realizing the importance of detecting and monitoring new COVID variants.
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