Cheap covid-19 antibody test shows if you have immunity in 5 minutes

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Illustration of antibodies (cream colour) responding to an infection with the coronavirus (orange colour)

Illustration of antibodies (cream) responding to an infection with the coronavirus (orange)

JUAN GAERTNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

A cheap 5-minute test can accurately determine whether you have had covid-19 in the past or determine whether you have protection from a vaccine by detecting antibodies in blood or saliva.

When a person is infected with the coronavirus or is vaccinated against it, their immune system produces antibodies to fight the virus. These antibodies continue to be produced for at least six months, so they can be used to detect a past infection or vaccine response. Tests for coronavirus antibodies already exist, but they tend to be expensive, complicated or not very accurate.

Feng Yan at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and his colleagues made a cheaper, more convenient…

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