Mayo Clinic unveils key COVID-19 antibody test


Damian Dovarganes – Associated Press

In this May 20 photo, a health worker takes a blood sample for a COVID-19 antibody test in Los Angeles. An antibody test might show if you had COVID-19 in the recent past, which most experts think gives people some protection from the virus.

A test that could help determine whether people gain immunity after a COVID-19 infection was announced Thursday by Mayo Clinic and its corporate partners.

The test is the first in the world that will be broadly commercially available to identify neutralizing antibodies - the proteins produced after COVID-19 that will fight off the coronavirus if it comes back. Existing tests developed amid the pandemic show whether people have produced any antibodies in response to the illness, but not these key proteins.

"This is more reassuring than just ... a positive [antibody test] to show you have been previously exposed to the virus," said Dr. Stephen Russell, chief executive of Vyriad, the Rochester, Minn., company that created the test and provided it to Mayo via a licensing partnership with a second company, Regeneron. "This test is showing what level of protection you actually have."


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