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Two New COVID-19 Immunity Tests Developed in the Boston Area – NBC Boston

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Two new tests have been developed in the Boston area that are designed to predict immunity to COVID-19.

MIT has a new blood test that can potentially predict immunity to COVID-19, while Harvard has a different test that uses saliva to detect both the virus and antibodies.

Most people in the United States right now have some degree of immunity to the coronavirus. That could be from the vaccine, a recent infection, or a combination of both. But it’s hard to know how much protection you really have.

The MIT researchers use a small blood sample to get that answer. They developed an easy-to-use 10-minute test that uses the same type of lateral flow technology as the rapid tests that many people have relied on during the pandemic.

This new test from MIT measures the level of antibodies that target the COVID-19 virus in your blood. Different viral proteins can be interchanged in this test, allowing them to test for different variants of the virus as well.

Experts say that this type of easily accessible immunity testing can help people determine what kinds of precautions they should take. It could also be a game changer for people undergoing chemotherapy, have autoimmune disease, and the elderly, who are at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Harvard researchers have created a new diagnostic device that can simultaneously detect the virus and antibodies in a patient’s saliva. People could learn their level of immunity and whether or not they are infected in just a few hours, without having to send samples to a lab. This is also a much cheaper method and could improve the response to future pandemics.

The researchers applied for a patent on this technology and hope to partner with a company that can manufacture large quantities of these tests before obtaining FDA approval.

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