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Malaysian Researcher Is Helping To Create Covid-19 Antibody Test

Malaysian Researcher Is Helping To Create Covid-19 Antibody Test

Anne Dorall

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Dr Yusof Johari, 35, is a senior research associate who was part of the team from the University of Sheffield that has produced components for a Covid-19 antibody test.

The team of engineers and scientists of the UK university’s Chemical and Biological Engineering Department is producing the test which is claimed to be extremely reliable and accurate to determine the true scale of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Bernama, the team is producing the ‘spike’ glycoprotein that protrudes from the surface of the virus and using it to create the antibody test.

Corona means ‘crown’ in Latin, which is why the coronavirus is named after the spikes that resembles the spikes on a crown.
(Creidt: NEXU Science Communication)

This antibody test will be able to determine not only the true scale of the pandemic in the population, but also the persistence or level of any immunity, or whether vaccines will be effective.

Potentially, it can be used on recovered Covid-19 patients to determine antibodies in their blood or mucosal secretions that specifically target the virus. If the test yields positive results on these recovered patients, then it means that they have immunity against Covid-19.

Recovered patients can therefore travel around happily or they can choose to donate their plasma to develop vaccines.

Dr Yusof Johari to Bernama

Dr Yusof from Kuala Lumpur was chosen as the lead researcher due to to his expertise in bioprocessing and complex molecules. He has been collaborating with more than 20 experts over the past two months.

According to Dr Yusof, his team leader Professor David James is an expert in biopharmaceutical research at the University of Sheffield and heading the difficult process of producing the ‘spike’ component of Covid-19.

The team is working to produce the complex molecule in larger quantities to enable the National Health Service (UK) to introduce the antibody test to a larger proportion of the UK population and to further improve production efficiency.

Their material is now being used successfully by local Sheffield hospitals and university medical research laboratories.

Dr Yusof Johari isn’t the only Malaysian in the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr Amalina Bakri is also involved in trialing a vaccine for Covid-19 in the UK as well.


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