The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in collaboration with Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) and Incas Diagnostics has developed a Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kit for testing Corona-virus.
According to the University’s Relations Officer, Dr. Daniel Norris, the development of the RDT is in line with Ghana’s objectives in the fight against COVID-19 which is to contain the spread of the virus, inspire the expansion of domestic capability and deepen self-reliance.
The test kit uses finger-prick blood to detect two different types of antibodies produced by the body when it is fighting off Covid-19 infection at least seven days after infection.
“These serological tests which use finger-prick blood and in lateral flow format, similar to blood glucose test or home pregnancy test, detects two different types of antibodies produced by the body to fight off the Covid-19 infection about 7 days after infection and also in those who have been exposed to the virus but not showing any symptoms (asymptomatic) or recovered from infection”, Dr. Boris elaborated.
The test then takes 15-20 minutes to perform which is shorter as compared to the current Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing for COVID-19 which takes about 48 hours.
However, the test kit requires little technical training in performing the test.
The antibody tests will allow the study of the dynamics of immune responses of infected people.
“In the future, it could also, help identify recovered patients who could then donate their SARS-CoV-2 antibody-rich serum to help treat critically ill patients as is being done in some countries”, he further stated.
“KNUST salutes Scientists from the Departments of Clinical Microbiology, Medical Diagnostics, Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) and Incas Diagnostics for working tirelessly on this development” he added.
Currently, the test kit is awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) before it can be in use.