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Oxford Immunotec’s T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 Test Used in DIRECT Study to Investigate the T Cell Response and COVID Vaccination in Ethnic Minority Groups

OXFORD, United Kingdom and MARLBOROUGH, Mass., 29 April, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Oxford Immunotec a global, high-growth diagnostics company part of PerkinElmer, today announced that its T-SPOT® Discovery SARS-CoV-2 kit will be used for T cell testing in the DIRECT study. Oxford Immunotec is collaborating with researchers at the University of Leicester on DIRECT (Determining the Immune Response in Ethnic minority healthcare workers to COVID-19 infection). The study, funded through the National Core Studies group, is actively recruiting healthcare workers in Leicester for detailed analysis of their immune response to infection and / or vaccination (including T cells). This analysis, together with information collected through online questionnaires, will enable researchers to understand whether there are differences in the immune response in different ethnic minority groups, including whether there are differences in the magnitude and duration of this response.

The custom version of the T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 kit (for research use only) will be used to assess if the vaccination induces a T cell response in study subjects. The kit uses the T-SPOT technology platform, a commercialized, modified ELISPOT platform, which allows for the standardized and reproducible measurement of T cells reactive to SARS-CoV-2. Testing for an immune response using T cells may offer several advantages over conventional antibody testing due to the limitations reported with antibodies, such as antibodies not being present after infectionand antibodies waning over time. The T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 test has also demonstrated in previous studies that a high SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell response may be associated with protection from infection.

Dr. Peter Wrighton-Smith, CEO of Oxford Immunotec said, “We are proud to be partnering with the University of Leicester on this critical clinical trial which will help drive the understanding of the effects of COVID-19 across different ethnic groups.”

Dr Manish Pareek, Principal Investigator of DIRECT said, “The immune system is critical to the outcome of COVID-19, including protection against future infection. This study, utilizing a wide range of immune measures including the T-SPOT technology developed by Oxford Immunotec, will allow us to determine differences in the immune response to COVID-19 amongst different ethnic minority groups, which is vital if we are to understand why individuals from ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected by COVID-19.”

Find out more about DIRECT at

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T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 is for research use only, not for use in diagnostic procedures.

About Oxford Immunotec
Oxford Immunotec is a global, high-growth diagnostics company and part of the PerkinElmer group. We bring energy and invention to a world in need of diagnostic truth. We are uniquely placed as the only company in the world offering regulated ELISPOT assays for T cell measurement, with approval around the globe. Our leading product, the T-SPOT.TB test, is used for diagnosing infection with Tuberculosis, the world’s largest cause of death from infectious disease. The Company is an experienced manufacturer of IVD tests, operating under a fully audited Quality Management System, ensuring rigorous batch control. The company has manufactured in excess of 20 million clinical T cell tests for TB infection. The T-SPOT.TB test has been approved for sale in over 50 countries, including the United States (where it has received pre-market approval from the Food and Drug Administration), Europe (where it has obtained a CE mark), as well as Japan and China. The recently released T-SPOT.COVID test is CE marked in Europe for clinical use to understand the T cell immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and has been submitted to the FDA for emergency use authorization in the US ( The Company is headquartered near Oxford, U.K. and in Marlborough, MA. Additional information can be found at

About PerkinElmer
PerkinElmer enables scientists, researchers and clinicians to address their most critical challenges across science and healthcare. With a mission focused on innovating for a healthier world, we deliver unique solutions to serve the diagnostics, life sciences, food and applied markets. We strategically partner with customers to enable earlier and more accurate insights supported by deep market knowledge and technical expertise. Our dedicated team of about 14,000 employees worldwide is passionate about helping customers work to create healthier families, improve the quality of life, and sustain the wellbeing and longevity of people globally. The Company reported revenue of approximately $3.8 billion in 2020, serves customers in 190 countries, and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Additional information is available through 1-877-PKI-NYSE, or at

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