Covid-19: Researchers develop test that could save lives

While millions of French people are vaccinated or about to be vaccinated, others do not have their full vaccination schedule available, can’t or don’t want to. So they are tested extensively. According to reverberationIn these tests, French researchers announced that they had developed a technology that could save caregivers a lot of time, or even save lives.

In a press release issued on August 11 Reported by our colleagues, the APHP reveals that these scientists will be able to perform a “simplified” test in order to better identify “infected people who are at risk of developing a severe form.” It will then rely on a protein (type 1 interferon – IFN-I) that works against Covid-19 during contamination and can be measured to see if a patient is infectious and if they can develop dangerous forms.

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This measurement can be done quite simply with a swab when performing a PCR test. If today’s PCR tests make it possible to determine whether the virus is active or inactive, then a multiplex PCR test will make it possible to analyze these data. “These results confirm that measurement of the IFN-I response at the nasal level can be used as a marker of active infection in conjunction with the detection of SARS-CoV-2,” their analysis said. So patients at risk will be quickly cared for and, conversely, those who are no longer a source of contamination can be exempted from quarantine.

The researchers emphasized that this type of result “opens important avenues regarding the therapeutic strategy for Covid-19 patients”. According to Les Echos, since May 2020, one in five patients in intensive care with a severe case has not had enough IFN-I to detect it. Through this study, the scientists showed that the body actually produces anti-IFN-I autoantibodies that act against the antiviral action. Hence, this new test will make it possible to deal with potentially serious cases long before they enter intensive care.

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