A group of Russian biologists have created a test that detects antibodies to COVID-19

Developed the first system, which determines whether the person’s last contact with the virus SARS-CoV-2. About it said Russian scientists from the Center for precision editing and genetic technologies for Biomedicine, Institute of molecular biology. V. A. Engelgardt (MPI RAS), SMRC Hematology, Ministry of health of Russia, the company’s “Genetic” and the Centre of bioengineering Russian Academy of Sciences. “MK” contacted one of the authors head of the laboratory of biochemistry of viral infections biologyí of RAS Alexander IVANOV.

Группа российских биологов создала тест, выявляющий антитела к COVID-19

– I congratulate you on the creation of the first test system for the detection of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. What it took to create it?

– Studies are going very quickly, such systems are in the United States, Europe, South Korea. But in Russia the available serology tests (tests for detection of antibodies) yet. Maybe in research we keep pace with the Novosibirsk Centre of Virology and biotechnology “Vector”.

The job was that we were able to turn out a fragment of the Spike protein of a novel coronavirus, to highlight it, and absorb on a special plastic plate and after adding in each cell (in the die 96 of them) drops of blood serum of ill or sick people, to understand there are antibodies (IgG) against the virus or not.

– How do you know what antibodies are present?

– If the antibodies are there, they are firmly bonded with the protein of the virus in the cells and can be detected with the second antibody, to which is sewn a special label. Accordingly, we have in the cells where the serum with the antibodies, there is a dark blue color.

– How do you get the protein?

We got it with the help of the American group, headed by Professor Florian Krammer from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Our laboratory, along with a number of laboratories in other countries, received their samples of plasmid DNA on the basis of which it was possible to acquire proteins. We and and have gained.

– Whether the risk of infection when working members of your lab with the protein of virus?

– No, no. These plasmids encode not the whole virus, but only one of his proteins. Accordingly, these works are not related to work with pathogens.

– How quickly can the body recover from COVID-19 have antibodies?

– If the disease is passed in the severe form, antibodies to the virus SARS-CoV-2 appear on 5-6 day of disease, that is, in the period of the disease. In case, if an infectious disease is weak, the antibody may appear only in 20-th day after onset of symptoms.

– During what time in the blood of people who recover from coronavirus, stored antibodies?

– Theoretically, should be preserved for a long time, but certainly this issue has not yet been studied. Experts in this field talk about the need to assess the levels of antibodies in patients who recover from a similar coronavirus — SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, the outbreak of which was in the early 2000s, and 2010s respectively. But such patients a little, and I don’t know the results of such studies. I am sure that Western scientific groups already working on it. I think that the immune responses to SARS, which caused SARS in 2002-2003 and current virus will be similar in duration.

– What other questions will give the results of your work?

Thanks to test systems that will be based on our prototype, it is possible to identify people who recover from coronavirus. First, it will provide an opportunity to assess the extent of infection in the population. Second, can these data be used in practical purposes. For example, in Germany, for example, it came to the practical application of test-systems for antibodies to the coronavirus. There is already discussed in the quarantine it was removed for people with antibodies. Obviously, for them, the virus is no longer dangerous, and they can work quietly. In addition, this may allow to assess the risks of infection for physicians in contact with patients.

How much time can pass before the establishment of this test system, and we replied Arthur Isaev – head of the company that will advance her in life:

– We assume that the test system will be ready for use in laboratories about five weeks. In addition to the clinical diagnostic laboratories we will do it in the form of rapid tests that can use the doctors in the clinics. They give a result within 15 minutes.


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