Newly Funded Research Grant: Evaluation of Point-of-Care (EPOC)

Title: Evaluation of Point-of-Care (EPOC)

Principal Investigator: Dr Eriobu Nnakelu

Funding Agency: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Amount: $15,000

Duration: 1 Year

Proposed Start time: June 2022


The EPOC study is designed to examine the feasibility of conducting two point-of-care (POC) tests: The LumiraDx SARS-CoV-2 antibody test and the RightSign COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and compare the reproducibility of these tests to a central laboratory on specimens obtained from the same study participants at the same time. The study will enroll participants who are 18 years and above, with confirmed COVID-19 infection who present with progressive symptoms or are detected at the early stages of COVID-19 infection with a PCR test.

The EPOC study will provide an important answer to patient care in view of evaluating COVID-19 antibodies for medical management, because currently, COVID-19 antibody testing is performed through a sophisticated central lab equipment which is slow and not a viable strategy for patient management. A test is needed that can be conducted in the clinic and has a fast turn-around time, such as a point-of-care (POC) test. Hence, there is need to understand how POC antibody tests could be used for clinical management of COVID-19 patients.

If findings from this study show that POC tests are easy to conduct, reliable and can predict clinical outcomes; future studies may incorporate this testing as part of experimental treatment strategies for COVID-19. The EPOC study is led in Nigeria by Dr Nnakelu Eriobu and implemented in collaboration with the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada (UATH); with Drs Vivian Kwaghe , Habid Zaiyad and Godwin Idoko as co-investigators.