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POSTS ABOUT SCIENTIFIC NOTES

Returning to normal life despite COVID-19

COVID-19

At this moment of the pandemic, a very critical point is to know if each of us is immunised and at the same time if is contagious or no. To know if people are immunised against COVID-19 is essential information to be able to undo this state of quarantine in which we are immersed. Only people who have been infected, but are already non-contagious, could return to their normal lives, allowing a progressive return to our previous routine. For this reason, it is essential to analyse the antibody load that each person presents. Therefore, the combined of an RT-PCR + a rapid serological test (for antibodies detection) is what should be imposed as a requirement to return to normality. First, a serological test could tell us if we have antibodies against the virus and only in the case we have specific antibodies in our blood, a confirmation by RT-PCR will be required to ensure that we are not infectious. A positive IgG with an already negative IgM, practically wouldn´t require confirmation by RT-PCR, but sometimes the virus or its proteins are maintained in blood for longer time. Thus, there exist different possibilities:

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Detection of the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by rapid serodiagnostic assays

On 31 December 2019, WHO was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) was identified as the causative virus by Chinese authorities on 7 January. As part of WHO’s response to the outbreak, the R&D has been activated to accelerate diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics for this novel coronavirus.

Coronavirus 2020
Figure 1. Coronavirus, 2020. Illustration by David S. Goodsell, RCSB Protein Data Bank doi: 10.2210/rcsb_pdb/goodsell-gallery-019

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Why choose a recombinant antigen?

Coronavirus

Native antigens are extracted in their natural form from the corresponding source. Recombinant antigens are instead manufactured artificially. A common method of achieving this is to transform the heterologous expression system with a vector expressing the protein of interest, following which the expressed protein can be purified from the culture broth.

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Chimeras: multi-epitope antigens

Chimera

Figure 1. Chimeras

At Rekom Biotech we have specialized in the design and production of next-generation antigens: chimeras or multi-epitope antigens, which have improved their antigenic properties such as sensitivity and specificity.

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Biotinylated antigens

Biotinylated Antigen

Figure 1. Biotinylated Antigens

In many ways, a conjugated antigen can be the solution to different problems arisen in a new IVD test development. A common problem caused by most of the surfaces is protein denaturation due to the relatively high surface by hydrophobicity. Additionally, there may be larger steric influence on binding events due to the close proximity of the surface and the sensor molecules. The specific orientation may also improve the stability of attached proteins and increase the sensitivity of the assay by exposure of its antigenic regions.

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