Just a Drop of Blood: An Easier Way to Test for COVID-19

collecting a drop of blood with a swab from a finger-stick test kit

As researchers around the world race to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Rochester CTSI Co-Director Martin Zand, M.D., Ph.D., is rapidly adapting previous research to develop a potential diagnostic test that would require just a few drops of blood to detect the fast-spreading disease.

The current research was born out of a past UR CTSI pilot project in which Zand’s lab created a finger-stick test that can detect immunity to over 50 strains of the flu from just a few drops of blood. Currently validated for use in research, the test allows clinical study participants to collect their own blood samples at home and mail them to the lab - cutting time, travel and infection risk for study participants.

As Zand’s lab pivots to use the test to detect immunity to COVID-19, they hope it could offer a quick and easy way to test immune responses to experimental vaccines or even monitor who is immune to COVID-19 to help get people back to work safely.

Publishing CTSA Program Hub’s Name