Scientists from Johns Hopkins University found a simple, accurate blood-sugar-meter-based test incorporating a novel fusion protein.
They say that people could someday use this assay to monitor their own COVID-19 antibody levels.
The research is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and was conducted by Netzahualcóyotl Arroyo-Currás et al.
Over-the-counter COVID tests can quickly show whether you are infected with SARS-CoV-2.
But if you have a positive result, there’s no equivalent at-home test to assess how long you’re protected against reinfection.
Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and infection with the virus itself can guard against future infections for a while, but it’s unclear exactly how long that protection lasts.
Enter glucose meters, which are readily available, easy to use and can be integrated with remote clinical services.
Researchers have been adapting these devices to sense other target molecules, coupling detection with glucose production.
In the study, the team examined whether producing a fusion protein consisting of both invertase and a detection antibody would work in an assay that would allow SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels to be read with a glucose meter.
The researchers designed and produced a novel fusion protein containing both invertase and a mouse antibody that binds to human immunoglobulin (IgG) antibodies.
They showed that the fusion protein was bound to human IgGs and successfully produced glucose from sucrose.
Next, the team made test strips with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein on them. When dipped in COVID-19 patient samples, the patients’ SARS-CoV-2 antibodies bound to the spike protein.
Adding the invertase/IgG fusion protein and then sucrose led to the production of glucose, which could be detected by a glucose meter.
They validated the test by performing the analysis with glucose meters on a variety of patient samples, and found that the new assay worked well.
The researchers say that the method can also be adapted to test for SARS-CoV-2 variants and other infectious diseases.
If you care about COVID, please read studies that UV-LED lights can kill COVID virus and HIV effectively, and this antiviral drug could eliminate COVID-19 by day 3 of treatment.
For more information about COVID, please see recent studies about a big cause of severe COVID-19 and death, and results showing people over 50s may develop this disease after COVID-19.
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