MIT researchers create test to predict COVID immunity, Harvard scientists develop test for both virus and antibodies



If you’re wondering how much protection you have from COVID, researchers at two local powerhouse universities say they’ve created new tests that will help determine antibody levels.

MIT scientists on Tuesday announced they’ve developed a blood test that may predict COVID immunity. The announcement came a day after Harvard researchers said they’ve built a saliva test that detects the presence of both antibodies and the virus.

The MIT researchers created a paper test that measures the level of neutralizing antibodies in a blood sample, which could help people decide what protections they should take against infection. Their test uses the same type of “lateral flow” technology as most rapid antigen tests for COVID.

“Among the general population, many people probably want to know how well protected they are,” said Hojun Li, the Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson clinical investigator at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.

“But I think where this test might make the biggest difference is for anybody who is receiving chemotherapy, anybody who’s on immunosuppressive drugs for rheumatologic disorders or autoimmune diseases, and for anybody who’s elderly or doesn’t mount good immune responses in general,” Li added. “These are all people who might need to be boosted sooner or receive more doses to achieve adequate protection.”



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