University Of Pittsburgh Developing Blood Test To Determine Coronavirus Immunity

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A blood test being developed at the University of Pittsburgh could identify people who could serve on the frontlines of the of the battle against COVID-19 with little to no risk of being infected.

According to KDKA’s news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, UPMC is close to developing this test.

Dr. Alan Wells, executive vice-chairman of the Section of Laboratory Medicine in the UPMC Department of Pathology told the Post-Gazette that the test being developed is based on one done in Europe to see if people were exposed and possibly immune to the virus.

The report say medical tests can already determine antibodies the body makes in response to the virus, but it doesn’t mean someone cannot become sick or pass it along.

Further testing at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Vaccine Research will see if certain antibodies are the immune type that neutralize the virus.

The Post-Gazette reports that the Allegheny Health Network is not working on an immunity test, but did develop rapid immune tests that work like pregnancy tests.

A drop of blood can see if certain antibodies are present — but it has its limitations at this point.

There was no timeline reported as to when UPMC’s test could be finalized.

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