Japanese researchers trial early warning test for acute COVID-19 cases
Japan Times -- Sep 27
Japanese researchers have developed a blood test they say appears to serve as an early warning system for serious cases of COVID-19, and deployed 500 prototype machines to trial its effectiveness nationwide.

Researchers from the National Center for Global Health and Medicine initially tested for five compounds in the blood of 28 patients, finding that low readings of the serum CCL17 were predictive of serious coronavirus infections.

The results suggested that early tests for the serum could help determine which patients will need hospitalization, they said in a paper published this month.

“If CCL17 is lower than 100 picograms per milliliter, then we ask them to be hospitalized, but if it’s over 400, the patients can stay in a hotel or their house and check in every three days,” lead researcher Masaya Sugiyama said Friday.

More data was needed to confirm the results of the small study, Sugiyama said, but since the 28-patient trial the group has worked with a Japanese company to develop a prototype testing machines for the serum.

News sources: Japan Times