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Pictor Announces Seroprevalence Study Using Novel SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Test To Assess Kiwis’ Antibody Levels

Pictor, a global leader in immunodiagnostics, today announced an important research project – the Pictor Antibody Clinical Trial (PACT-19) – which aims to gain important information and insights into the COVID-19 immunity profile of New Zealanders.

“Serologic tests measure the antibody response in a person and Pictor’s PACT-19 seroprevalence study will help our understanding of the impact of vaccinations and infection on antibody levels in a New Zealand cohort,” said Pictor’s CEO Howard Moore.

Additionally, as we learn more about COVID-19, seroprevalence studies can highlight the proportion of a population who may be protected against infection in the future, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The PACT-19 study is the first domestic clinical study to be run by Pictor and uses its PictArray™ SARS-CoV-2 IgG Antibody Test that was developed in-house and recently launched commercially in New Zealand. The test is the first of its kind as it enables personalised COVID-19 assessments by detecting if a patient has antibodies from a previous infection of SARS-CoV-2 (spike protein and nucleocapsid protein antibodies) or from vaccination alone (spike antibodies only). It also indicates whether at-risk patients have failed to mount a detectable antibody response despite vaccination or infection.

This study aims to monitor the change in participant antibody levels following either vaccination only or vaccination and infection with the COVID-19 virus. A total of 296 participants have been involved in the PACT-19 study to date. Of this group, 231 participants, who have been vaccinated but not infected, will be followed over a course of six months. The remaining 65, who have been vaccinated and infected, were tested only once. Pictor has been able to identify participants that have had asymptomatic infections as well as participants who had symptoms but never tested positive by PCR or Rapid Antigen Test.

This study will conclude mid-2023. “This study is particularly important because it will add to our understanding of the significance and relevance of the Spike Protein and Nucleocapsid Protein antibodies especially as they relate to viral protection as well as implications for conditions such as Long-COVID,” said PACT-19 Project Manager Helen Teale.

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