UAE scientists create COVID-19 animal antibody test

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A team of scientists in the United Arab Emirates has a COVID-19 animal antibody test which can check dozens of different species to see if they have been exposed to the deadly virus.

The antibody test is now being used on hundreds of blood samples collected from different animal breeds to see which species contracted COVID-19 — and which later developed antibodies to the virus, Dr. Ulrich Wernery, a veterinary microbiologist in Dubai and head of the emirate’s Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, told Al Arabiya Engels.

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dr. Wernery said the study is part of his ongoing research to find more answers to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, how it is spreading across both the human and animal kingdoms, and hopefully provide vital answers about how the global pandemic can be addressed and infected can be treated. patients.

He said there is little information about which animals are hosts to the virus.

COVID-19 has been found in some animals, including gorillas at a San Diego zoo, a tiger at the Bronx Zoo, lions at a Barcelona zoo, a snow leopard in Kentucky and Danish minks, among others.

“Nobody really knows how many animal species are susceptible to COVID-19,” says Dr. Wernery. “We know humans can get it, we know minks can get it, we know cats can get it, some ferrets can get it and some other animals.”

“But we don’t know anything about sheep, goats, horses, monkeys and other animal species and so on.”

“So we’ve now created an antibody test to check the antibodies of many – about 18 – different animal species for antibodies to COVID-19.”

If the team finds antibodies in samples of the animals, the scientists know they were exposed to the virus at some point.

“We want to find out with this new test,” said Dr. Wernery.
“This is a very, very advanced test and can be used on many animal species as well as on humans. We can find out which animal species have had contact with the virus and which have subsequently developed antibodies.”

dr. Wernery said he and his team of scientists have kept thousands of blood serum samples from the tissues of various animals in his lab over the years.

The team has selected 500 samples that they are now testing for COVID-19 antibodies.

“Serum – or sera – is a part of the blood in which red blood cells and white blood cells are removed. In this liquid and liquid you will find all the antibodies that are produced against foreign substances that come from outside.”

“Most likely your blood. My blood has hundreds of thousands of different antibodies to many, many foreign bodies — or viruses — that have hit us in our lifetime.”

The same, he said, applies to COVID-19.

“When the coronavirus strikes you, your body makes antibodies to fight the virus and neutralize the virus so that you become healthier after a while.”

“The same thing happens when you get vaccinated. So you are injected with a dead virus and your body makes antibodies against this virus to protect you.”

“We want to check the serum of many different animals that we don’t yet know about their vulnerability to COVID19 and check if they have antibodies; that would be very interesting indeed.”

More knowledge about which species are both receptors and hosts for the virus could provide further answers in tackling the global pandemic, said Dr. Wernery.

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While the exact source of COVID-19 is unknown, WHO scientists believe it likely came from a bat.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, more than 191 million people worldwide have tested positive for COVID-19.

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