SARS-CoV-2 kit for research into measuring the T-cell immune response

Oxford Immunotec has released the T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 test kit. This could make a significant contribution to development of a tool to manage the current pandemic, and help nations come out of lockdown faster, safer and in a controlled manner

T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 builds on Oxford Immunotec’s experience with TB diagnosis and the assessment of immune response to CMV in transplant patients, to apply the company’s established, proprietary T-SPOT technology to the fight against COVID-19. While serology is able to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in the blood of some individuals after infection, little is known about how this confers subsequent immunity. T-SPOT technology goes further than simple serology by interrogating the immune system’s T-cell response and will enable research into the measurement of the strength of that response to SARS-CoV-2. The strength of this response may be linked to protection from reinfection.

T-SPOT technology is a proven technology, approved for clinical use to detect TB infection in over 60 countries including the USA, China, Japan and Europe.

With over 20 million clinical tests manufactured since release, T-SPOT technology uses a standardised sample prepared from peripheral blood which reduces the influence of factors that might affect results, such as other treatments, and standardises cell numbers in the test to normalise for cell number variations between samples. It allows the number of responding T cells to be enumerated for a more precise assessment of the T-cell response. Even in samples from immunosuppressed individuals, it is able to maintain performance. The technology can be run in high-volume laboratories, enabling large testing programmes to be rolled out.

T-SPOT technology can also be automated using the T-Cell Select reagent kit. Automation solutions are available for low-, medium- and high-throughput settings.