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While the Mayo Clinic is conducting trials for a blood test that could detect people with immunity to the coronavirus, Dr. Bill Morice, president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories, explained how it would work.
“Unlike the molecular testing which detects the virus itself, the serologic testing is a blood test that we use to identify those who have been exposed to the [SARS-CoV-2] virus that causes the COVID disease and also have amounted to an immune response,” Morice told "Fox & Friends."
Morice went on to say that, therefore, the "serologic test" will allow doctors to identify people who have been exposed and those who are potentially immune to the virus.
Morice said that the blood test will be able to detect that a person has had the coronavirus even though they were asymptomatic.
“About a week to two weeks after you're exposed or have symptoms and even if you don’t have symptoms with the virus, your body during that time is actually mounting a response. Part of that response is a production of a protein called an antibody which is specific for the SARS virus.”
Morice continued, “And so what we do is we test the blood for antibodies specific to the virus and if you have them in your blood, then we know you have been exposed and have mounted an immune response.”
Furthermore, Morice said that recovered patients and those who have an immune response with antibodies can donate their plasma, a treatment called convalescent anti plasma.
“This will help identify those who can be donors to help others who are really suffering from COVID,” Morice said.
Morice said that the test will be applied first to health care workers once the it is ready for launch.
“In the treatment, known as convalescent plasma, the patient is transfused with the donor’s plasma with the goal of using the donor’s antibodies to help clear the virus more rapidly and help decrease the need for ICU beds and ventilators,” the New York Blood Center said in a statement to Fox News.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the treatment on March 24.
Fox News' James Rogers contributed to this report.