VirScan: New Test Method Reveals All Viruses You’ve Been Exposed To With Just A Drop Of Your Blood

VirScan is the new testing method that uses just a drop of your blood to give you a history of the infections you have acquired and any infections that you may have now. Standard blood tests are only able to test one pathogen, and before VirScan, there was no test to determine a person’s virus history with just a single test.

Researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) have come up with a revolutionary way to detect viruses in the body. Stephen Elledge, one of the authors of the study, released a statement.

“What makes this so unique is the scale: right now, a physician needs to guess what virus might be at play and individually test for it. With VirScan, we can look for virtually all viruses, even rare ones, with a single test.”

We may not be able to remember every single time we had a virus. Or we may not even have known what viruses we had been infected with. With the help of VirScan, you can have your virus history, and all it takes is a drop of your blood. According to New Scientist, the antibodies that our body produces continue to be produced even after we have been cleared of the virus. This means that the antibodies serve as a footprint, helping VirScan give a complete virus history.

In the study, IFL Science reports, the researches exposed around 10 viral species to 569 participants from Thailand, South Africa, Peru, and the United States. VirScan was able to determine the number of peptides (protein fragments from viruses) in a majority of the participants.

In addition to providing a virus history, VirScan is also able to provide the relationships between a virus that has previously infected you and how it will develop further. Elledge further discussed the importance of VirScan and its implications in medicine.

“A viral infection can leave behind an indelible footprint on the immune system. Having a simple, reproducible method like VirScan may help us generate new hypotheses and understand the interplay between the virome and the host’s immune system, with implications for a variety of diseases.”

Now you can learn more about your virus history, thanks to VirScan. And if you are worried about the test being expensive, fret not. According to Popular Mechanics, the VirScan test costs just $25 and you can get your results in just a few days.

New studies are aiding medical professionals in their field, which in turn can benefit us and our health. In another study reported by the Inquisitr, cardiovascular health can now be predicted through a kidney test.

[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]