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Development of high-throughput serology testing capability

This effort focuses on developing a reliable and highly accurate serological test to detect antibodies against COVID-19, in order to verify if an individual has previously been infected. The ambition is to conduct large-scale screening, providing a valuable tool in the fight against COVID-19.

The new test is developed by researchers at KTH and the SciLifeLab Autoimmunity Profiling facility and the work is led by Sophia Hober and Peter Nilsson. Danderyd Hospital serves as the first hospital to evaluate this new test, as employees are tested for antibodies as part of a new study. The first results of the study point to 20% of the hospital staff having antibodies against the disease. By testing hospital staff over a longer period of time, it is possible to determine who has, partly or wholly, developed immunity to COVID-19. The information can then be used to determine who can safely return to work without spreading the disease, something that is especially important in health care. The data will also improve our understanding of how the virus works.

The validation of the test shows very promising results (100 positive samples and 300 negative ones where analyzed and the test was accurate each time). There is a great need for a reliably and highly accurate test, since the tests currently on the market vary greatly in availability and quality.

The research project is financed by KTH, Region Stockholm, Atlas Copco, Family Christian and Jennifer Dahlberg, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW) and the Erling-Persson Family Foundation.

Coordinators: Peter Nilsson (SciLifeLab/KTH) and Sophia Hober (KTH).

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