New antibody test
This week, the Mayo Clinic made an announcement that it has researched and developed a new Coronavirus neutralizing antibody test. The test allows researchers to get a better understanding of the immunity that those who recover from a COVID-19 infection may have.
Different than regular antibody tests
The Mayo Clinic’s SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody test works a bit different than regular antibody tests. “This test measures the level of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, better known as COVID-19.” according to officials with the Mayo Clinic, stated in a news release. They also state that neutralizing antibodies “are a subset of antibodies able to independently inactivate viruses, and are associated with protective immunity against reinfection for many infectious pathogens.”
Neutralizing antibodies are the proteins produced after a COVID-19 infection which will fight off the virus should a person be exposed to it once again. Other antibody tests that are available at the moment, only show if there are any antibodies present after a COVID-19 infection, however they do not look for these specific proteins.
John Mills, Mayo Clinic’s co-director of the Neuroimmunology Laboratory explained in a statement that “It is important to note that the neutralizing antibody test is not a replacement for the existing serological testing for COVID-19, which detects antibodies that recognize the virus and serves as an indicator of current or prior infection,”. He said that the clinic’s new neutralizing antibody test is rather a test that adds a next level of detail for researchers and clinicians by providing an accurate estimate of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing activity.
The test will namely determine the degree of effectiveness of a person’s antibodies at neutralizing the virus, that are necessary to know if someone is no longer at risk.
Not for everyone
Mayo Clinic’s new SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody test will be available later this month. The test will be exclusively available to select labs, blood banks and biopharma clients through Mayo Clinic Laboratories.