T cell tests aim for broader picture of COVID-19 immunity
T cell tests could uncover COVID-19 patients and biology missed by other assays
While the COVID-19 testing conversation has centered on assays for antiviral antibodies or the virus itself, at least two companies think T cell tests could catch patients the other methods miss. T cell tests could also guide vaccine design, predict patient outcomes and inform the ongoing debate about the role of the cells in SARS-CoV-2 immunity.
The world of COVID-19 tests is largely carved up into polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays that diagnose active infections by detecting viral genomes, and serological immunoassays that flag past viral exposure by detecting host antibodies against the virus. Other molecular diagnostics that detect the novel coronavirus -- using probes, CRISPR, tool antibodies or genomic sequencing -- have