WHO shares free antibody testing technology

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that serology technology to detect Covid-19 antibodies will be provided royalty-free to low- and middle-income countries.

Accordingly, on November 23, the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) and WHO reached an agreement to promote the production of serum antibody tests. The purpose of the agreement is to facilitate the rapid commercialization of CSIC’s antibody testing worldwide. The Council will transfer all technology to WHO’s Medicines Patent Group (MPP), enabling low- and middle-income countries to produce test kits.

Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica, the founder of the Covid-19 Technology Access Group (C-TAP), said that the agreement is a testament to the global and multilateral effort to end the pandemic.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, said: “This is the kind of license we need, a guideline in the fight against the epidemic. I urge vaccine and drug manufacturers to take similar action. aims to turn the tide with Covid-19, reduce the global inequality created by the epidemic.”

The antibody test kit has undergone 4 different tests. It has the ability to distinguish the immune response of people infected with nCoV and those who have been vaccinated. This will support more extensive studies on the extent and duration of immunity maintenance of vaccines.

In Vietnam, Dr. Nguyen Hien Minh, deputy head of the Immunization Unit, Hospital of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Ho Chi Minh City, said that Covid-19 antibody tests can identify whether the body has been infected with the virus or has been vaccinated, but The amount of antibodies produced is not related to disease severity, nor should it be used to directly compare the protective efficacy of different vaccines. The antibody test is for scientific research only, not to determine if a person has Covid-19 or to decide whether a person is eligible for the vaccine.

Medical staff take a Covid-19 antibody test in Karlsruhe, Germany, March 2021. Photo: Reuters

Antibody tests are easy to use, suitable for developing countries, with basic laboratory and medical infrastructure. The kit is suitable for rural areas where conditions are limited. After sampling, users read the results right on the color display bar similar to common quick tests.

Diana Morant, Spain’s Science and Innovation Minister, said: “This is the first technology developed by a state-funded organization in the C-TAP group. With agreements like this, we are able to protect the lives of the community. The basic purpose of science is also to improve people’s lives.”

Thuc Linh (Follow WHO)


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