Novel Blood Test Can Trace Person’s Virus History

Novel Blood Test Can Trace Person’s Virus History
Blood test David Jones / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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According to a recent study conducted by researchers from the Harvard Medical School, a new test that can reveal almost every virus an individual was exposed to, by using less than a single drop of blood, has been identified.


This experimental test, which costs as less as $25, can become a significant research tool for the purpose of tracking patterns of diseases in several populations.

The author of this study, Stephen Elledge, stated, “I’m sure there’ll be lots of applications we haven’t even dreamed of.”

This blood test was tried on 569 people from the United States, South Africa, Thailand and Peru. The results showed that majority of the people had been exposed to nearly 10 species of virus, most of them being the cause behind colds, flu, gastrointestinal illness and other common ailments.

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According to Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-disease expert at Vanderbilt University, “This will be a treasure trove for communicable-disease epidemiology. It will be like the introduction of the electron microscope. It will allow us to have more resolution at a micro level.”

The findings of this study have been published in the journal Science.