Skip to main content

Ultra-sensitive PC2 serology and rapid viral outgrowth assays

Kids Research

Date Funded:
  • 1 February, 2021
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Associate Professor Fabienne Brilot

Project summary

The project aims to improve SARS-COV-2 antibody and virus diagnostic detection in the time of COVID-19.

What is the issue for NSW?

Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 can be present at very low levels in some patients which makes them very difficult to detect. The detection of neutralisation antibodies, the ones blocking further re-infections, requires high level of biocontainment called PC3.

Additionally, many PCR false-positive patients are now detected due to persistence of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material, and the issue NSW is facing now is are people with persistent RT-PCR-positive still infectious?

Detection of very low numbers of viruses in viral swabs is currently limited by culture times exceeding five days: the rapid virus assay will decrease this by four days enabling the rapid diagnostic of patients.

What does the research aim to do and how?

We aim to replace PC3 whole-virus neutralisation assays with a high throughput antibody assay that can detect very low levels of antibodies, ie. is very sensitive, and is performed in a PC2.