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First test for all known human coronaviruses

Scientists at the Centre for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Sun Yat-sen University in China have set the stage for the development of highly sensitive antibody tests for infection with all known human coronaviruses, including new variants of SARS-CoV-2. 

These tests should also allow differentiation of immune responses due to infection and vaccination.

The HCoV-Peptide array consists of 3 million immune markers on a glass chip, covering proteins of all known human coronaviruses. 

In collaboration with a team at Sun Yat-sen University, the CII researchers identified 29 immune signatures specific to SARS-CoV-2. These peptides provide the blueprint for tests that will be used for diagnostics and surveillance. 

The new test, which is reported in Communications Biology, has a 98% specificity and sensitivity. 

Immune signatures were present from eight days after onset of COVID-19 symptoms to as long as six to seven months after infection.

Image Credit: iStock

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