A team of researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York has developed a test that measures our immunity against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the virus. This is a blood test, the results of which are available in only 24 hours, which will allow us to monitor the immunity of the general population and the efficacy of current vaccines. The study results have been published in Nature Biotechnology.
different from serological. The only way we have so far had to know whether we have developed an immune response (albeit partial) to the virus is to do a serological test: however, the problem is that this type of test looks exclusively at antibodies, and a positive or negative test says little about our protection. the Actual.
On the other hand, the new test developed by the American team measures the presence of T cells that, along with antibodies, stimulate the immune response against the Corona virus, protecting us above all from the most dangerous forms of the Corona virus. Because it is important? “Sometimes the most vulnerable people do not develop antibodies,” explains Ernesto Guchion, one of the researchers involved in the study: “For this reason, measuring the activation of T cells, which are also more effective against novel variants, is essential to understanding a person’s true immunity.” .
T cells, or T lymphocytes, are at the heart of adaptive (or acquired) immunity, and are more effective than innate immunity because the changes To adapt to fight various pathogens. The name “T” is due to the fact that these cells mature in the thymus, a gland located in the chest.
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After studying different types of PCR tests, the researchers focused specifically on two: qTACT, in which RNA is extracted from a blood sample for analysis and search for T cells. and dqTACT, in which the blood sample is analyzed directly. Of the two, the fastest, most accurate, cheapest and easiest to use is dqTACT, which recently received European CE certification for medical diagnostic devices. in the laboratory, It is now awaiting clinical approval from the FDA (USA) and EMA (Europe). The widespread use of these tests could serve in the future to monitor immunization levels of the general population, and to evaluate different (re)vaccination strategies for the most vulnerable.