Did you know gold is playing a crucial role in helping to diagnose COVID-19?
While there are a number of diagnostic options in use by governments around the world to test for COVID-19, almost all of these require laboratory analysis.
According to the World Gold Council, gold-reliant rapid tests or ‘Lateral Flow Assays’ (LFAs) can complement testing options that depend on laboratory analysis. LFAs have been in use for over 40 years to help diagnose dozens of life-threatening illnesses, including malaria, with over 400 million malaria LFA tests produced every year.
Tiny particles of gold act as ‘indicators’ in LFA rapid tests, triggering a colour change when they come into contact with the patient sample to rapidly determine a positive or negative result.
First generation COVID-19 rapid tests identify early and late marker antibodies instead of looking for the virus itself, and can help determine if a person has been infected with COVID-19 even after the virus is no longer present. Medical companies are also working to develop LFAs which can identify the virus directly.
To learn more about gold’s role in COVID-19 testing, view this report from the World Gold Council.