Are You Immune to COVID-19? The Mayo Clinic Has a New Way to Find Out
The Mayo Clinic has a new antibody test that can help determine if you're immune to the coronavirus.
Can someone who has had the coronavirus get sick again? Or does having it once make you forever immune to COVID-19? It's a huge question that has thus far remained unanswered, but the Mayo Clinic may have cracked the code. The world-renowned healthcare company announced a brand-new test that measures neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In simpler terms, this new test would help determine whether people gain immunity after being diagnosed with the coronavirus.
In a statement, the Mayo Clinic explains that "neutralizing antibodies are a subset of antibodies able to independently inactivate viruses, and are associated with protective immunity against re-infection for many infectious pathogens." In being able to test for the efficacy of these specific antibodies, the Mayo Clinic's test should reveal a patient's odds of coronavirus reinfection.
"The neutralizing antibody test is a critical addition to our COVID-19 testing, expanding on the capabilities of the molecular tests used to diagnose active infection and the serology test, which indicates previous infection by identifying antibodies for the SARS-CoV-2 virus," William Morice, II, MD, PhD, president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories, said in a statement.
He continued: "This new test provides us with incredibly important information about how effective a person's antibodies are at neutralizing the virus."
The test was created by Vyriad, a company in Rochester, Minnesota, which provided it to Mayo Clinic. "This is more reassuring than just … a positive [antibody test] to show you have been previously exposed to the virus," Stephen Russell, MD, PhD, chief executive of Vyriad, told The Star Tribune. "This test is showing what level of protection you actually have." The test will be available to select labs, blood banks, and biopharma clients in late June. And for more on COVID-19 testing, check out Here's How Long It Takes to Test Positive for Coronavirus After Exposure.