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Immunoassays

Infection with the “other” human Coronaviruses could be a blessing in disguise

With the world’s attention focused on SARS-CoV-2 and the serious impact COVID-19 is having both on our health and on society as a whole, it is worth noting that humans have in fact co-existed with numerous coronaviruses (CoVs) for millions of years. It is little understood how these related viruses have such startlingly different effects on infected individuals but some researchers have found evidence that mild CoV infection offers some...

James Steggles
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The best sample type for SARS-CoV-2 virus rapid tests will surprise you!

Two types of tests for SARS-CoV-2 currently predominate. The first are molecular tests, based on PCR technology, that detect the presence of viral nucleic acid and therefore indicate a current infection. The second are serology tests that are designed to detect anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (usually IgG) generated by the immune systems of individuals who have been infected in the past. RT-PCR to detect SARS-CoV-2 virus is relatively slow and requires specialist laboratories....

James Steggles
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SARS-CoV-2 – Beware Antibody Tests with <100% Specificity

We are in the midst of the most significant global pandemic since the 1918-19 Influenza pandemic, over 100 years ago. The 2020 pandemic has been caused by a Coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2, which confers a severe respiratory illness (COVID-19) on a proportion of those infected. The virus is readily transmissible from human to human with many of those infected showing no or mild symptoms, meaning it is hard to know who...

James Steggles
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Lyme – a challenging disease to diagnose

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by Borrelia bacteria transmitted by tick bites from ticks of the Ixodes genus. Particularly if untreated, serious and long-term symptoms can occur such as neurological problems, facial palsy, lower limb impairment, heart complications, arthritis, encephalomyelitis and psychosis. It is estimated to affect 300,000 people per year in North America and 65,000 in Europe. Transmission can occur across the placenta during pregnancy. The causative...

James Steggles
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HAMA-Time! – How Human Anti-Mouse Antibodies (HAMA) can affect your immunoassay

What is HAMA? HAMA is an acronym for Human Anti-Mouse Antibodies. Some humans produce HAMA and have it present in their blood. Unfortunately for them, and the in vitro diagnostics industry, the presence of Human anti-mouse Antibodies (HAMA) in patient samples can lead to false positive and false negative results in immunoassays. Murine MC HAMA Why do some Humans produce HAMA? Some people work directly with mice while others might inadvertently encounter...

James Steggles
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