FunNature & AnimalThey use antibodies from birds to detect viruses under...

They use antibodies from birds to detect viruses under UV light, including SARS-CoV-2

This is an unusual but surprising discovery. Although it could become a small revolution within the current coronavirus pandemic, which could soon appear on the market.

Japanese scientists from Kyoto Prefectural University have created a face mask capable of glowing under ultraviolet (UV) light when it comes in contact with SARS-CoV-2 , the virus that causes COVID-19.

A feat, incidentally, that will allow people who take it to know quickly, simply and easily, if they have been able to contract the virus or not, using antibodies present in ostrich eggs .

Previous research had discovered that this bird is capable of generating different antibodies to fight certain viruses , so the scientists did a test in order to discover if it could also work to detect COVID-19 (the disease caused by SARS- CoV-2).

Thanks to this discovery, the scientists developed a special filter, which they placed on a face mask, and sprayed it with a dye capable of glowing under ultraviolet light, which contained antibodies extracted from the eggs of these birds.

When the filter came into contact with SARS-CoV-2, the different contaminated areas glowed under ultraviolet light , making it possible to visually detect whether or not the person was infected.

In fact, the scientists began by creating a mask filter coated with ostrich antibodies specifically targeting SARS-CoV-2.

Then, in a small study carried out on 32 people infected with the coronavirus, the participants wore the masks. After 8 hours, the filters were removed and sprayed with a chemical capable of glowing under UV light when the virus was present.

Filters used by people infected with COVID-19 were found to glow around both their mouths and noses . A diagnosis that was subsequently confirmed after a standard diagnostic test.

Although painless for some, for others the PCR tests can end up becoming a real ordeal. If we take into account the added benefits that filters developed by Japanese scientists could offer, there is no doubt that this new mask, which reacts to the virus that causes COVID-19, could become the future virus detection kit .

As Yasuhiro Tsukamoto, president of the University and head of research for the project, pointed out, it is possible to produce antibodies in large quantities from ostriches at a really low cost, which would allow that, in the future, this can be converted into a easy and simple test kit to use for many people.

Tsukamoto himself discovered that he had contracted the disease by testing the mask he had just created .

In addition, the brightness began to disappear, steadily, over the next 10 days , as the viral load decreased in the patients .

Although this is a surprising discovery, additional tests will be conducted on 150 COVID-19 patients. Depending on the results obtained, the team of scientists will present the project to the Japanese government for final approval.

Moreover, if all goes well, they hope to start selling these masks from next year , so they could be useful to replace the current PCR tests, which cause so many headaches in some.

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