A scientific team from Brazil has developed a urine test capable of detecting the presence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 with a accuracy comparable to existing tests based on blood serum. The description of him has been published in an article in the Science Advances magazine.
It is a new Elizabeth platform (the laboratory test commonly used to detect antibodies in the blood) that detects SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in urine instead of serum.
Unlike the popular serum-based Elisa test, using urine to detect antibodies would allow patients to collect their own samples and would eliminate the need for experts to draw blood and handle samples.
A non-invasive method
This new type of analysis offers a non-invasive method that can be used to report the degree of exposure of a population to COVID-19 and to assess an individual’s risk of infection, the authors note.
Although these types of tests are simple, comfortable and safe, Until now, scientists had not studied whether this body fluid could be an alternative to blood serum. to detect specific antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to an abstract in the journal.
A sensitivity of 94%
The main person in charge of the study, Fernanda Ludolf, from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil, and the rest of her team, have based the creation of this test on the N protein of the coronavirus (recombinant nucleocapsid protein).
In the trial, they evaluated 209 urine samples from 139 patients 2 to 60 days after COVID-19 symptoms began, and have compared its results with those of the serum-based Elisa test.
The results have been that the urine-based test has successfully detected antibodies in 187 of the samples, demonstrating a sensitivity of 94%compared to the 88% sensitivity of the serum-based test.
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