Scientists in Japan have developed masks that can detect Covid-19 by glowing under ultraviolet light using antibodies from an ostrich.
Professor Yasuhiro Tsukamoto told Reuters that he and his colleagues at Kyoto Prefectural University in Japan have discovered a low-cost way to test for the covid-19 coronavirus.
Based on prior research that shows ostriches are resistant to disease, the scientists created a facemask filter coated with antibodies from an ostrich.
In a small study, test subjects wore facemasks and were sprayed with antibodies that glow under ultraviolet light if the coronavirus is present. The facemasks were removed after eight hours, and the ostrich antibodies revealed that the coronavirus was present.
A glow was visible around the nose and mouth areas of the people infected with the Covid-19 Coronavirus.
Researchers at Kyoto Prefectural University now hope to develop the facemasks so that they will glow automatically if the coronavirus is detected, without special ultraviolet lighting.
Prof Tsukamoto, the president of the university said he has studied ostriches for years, seeking ways to maximize their immunity power to protect against bird flu, allergies, and other diseases.
Reuters reported that Prof Tsukamoto was unaware of his own positivity for Covid-19 until he wore the special facemask and found that it glowed when he checked.
He later underwent a standard covid-19 test to confirm his facemasks diagnosis.