New finger prick test to check Covid-19 immunity level in works

Emily CosenzaNCA NewsWire
Not Supplied
Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Work is underway in Victoria to develop new technology that can assess a person’s immunity to Covid-19 in less than half an hour.

With a finger prick, the NAb-Test aims to show the level of someone’s immunity to the virus by measuring the neutralising antibodies in their system.

The new technology could reveal if a person needs a booster shot and predict their immunity to new coronavirus strains — but cannot test for current infection.

The test, expected to be developed within 12 months by Burnet Institute and Doherty Institute experts, would take less than 20 minutes to complete.

The state government has contributed $500,000 to the project as part of its $31m injection into Covid-19 research.

“Neutralising antibodies are a key measure of immunity to Covid-19 and are part of the body’s natural immune response that is triggered by either prior infection or vaccination against the virus,” it said in a statement.

Camera IconNew technology to test a person’s Covid-19 immunity is being developed in Victoria but it cannot test for current infection. NCA NewsWire / Ian Currie Credit: News Corp Australia

“While the test is still at the prototype stage, the Burnet Institute and Doherty Institute are in commercial discussions to progress the Covid-19 NAb-Test so it can be used to benefit Victorians as soon as possible.”

Over the past year, the state government has invested more than $580m in medical research, with $400m of that allocated for a new Australian Institute of Infectious Diseases.

On Monday, Victoria recorded 567 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases and one death — a woman in her 70s from Moreland.

Premier Daniel Andrews has also revealed Victoria’s road map out of lockdown, warning restrictions would remain in Melbourne until the state’s 80 per cent double vaccination target was reached.

He said the capital city would also continue under stay-at-home orders until 70 per cent of the state was fully vaccinated, likely to occur around October 26.

“The notion of opening this place up very quickly at 70 per cent or 60 per cent simply cannot be done,” Mr Andrews said.

Originally published as New finger prick test to check Covid-19 immunity level in works

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails