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Dublin: 22 °C Friday 7 August, 2020

Antibody test to identify 'immune' individuals to get government funding boost

Those that are ‘immune’ could therefore be safe to return to work.

GOVERNMENT WILL HELP fund a rapid antibody test which will be able to identify previous Covid infection in high priority healthcare workers and in the general community. 

Minister for Further, Higher Education, Research and Innovation Simon Harris will today announce a €4.8 million investment in Covid Research.

The research, which will be funded by Science Foundation Ireland, will be led by Professor Kingston Mills, Luke O Neill and Professor Aideen Long of Trinity.

It will examine why some individuals are more susceptible susceptible to Covid-19 than others.

Such data of the infection rate in the Irish population will allow identification of individuals that are ‘immune’ and therefore safe to return to work. 

The research will also focus on designing effective vaccines and novel treatment approaches.

Harris said: “Science and research have never been more important. A virus we had never heard of seven months ago has disrupted our lives and brought the world to a standstill. And while we know a lot about Covid-19, there is still much more we need to learn.”

“We need to know who is immune from the virus. We need to know why some people are more likely to contract the virus than others.

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“But crucially, we need to know what is effective in tackling it and what is effective in treating it. Some of our best and brightest immunologists will now start working on this research and I am really confident the work they do has the potential to be transformational.

“I am really excited to announce this and cannot wait to see the outcome of their work.”

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