What is an antibody test and why is it so important?
The British Institute of Public Health has approved a new antibody test against coronavirus.
Let us tell you what an antibody test is and why it is so important.
After full recovery from COVID-19, an antibody test (also called a serological test) is performed. Eligibility may vary, depending on the availability of the test. Health care professionals usually collect blood samples by drawing blood from a vein in the arm. Then test the sample to determine if you have developed antibodies against the virus.
The immune system produces these antibodies-these proteins are essential for fighting and removing viruses.
If the test results indicate that you have antibodies, you may have been infected with COVID-19 at some time in the past. This may also mean that you have some immunity.
But the World Health Organization warns that the lack of evidence indicates whether having antibodies means you can be protected from COVID-19 reinfection. The level of immunity and duration of immunity are not yet known. Ongoing research will eventually reveal more data.
The time and type of antibody test will affect accuracy. If it is too early for you to test during the infection, when the immune response is still established in your body, the test may fail to detect the antibody, so you may need to wait a few days for the test.
In addition, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized and verified certain antibody detection methods, but there are many test methods on the market with doubtful accuracy.
Another benefit of accurate antibody testing is that people recovering from COVID-19 may be eligible to donate plasma (part of the blood). This plasma can be used to treat other people with serious diseases and to enhance the ability to resist viruses. Doctors call this plasma recovery. In the United States, the COVID-19 Extended Visit Program is recruiting participants to participate in this promising treatment study, which has already been tested in some serious cases.
Diagnostic COVID-19 tests can determine if you are infected and have the disease.
The most common test involves inserting a swab on the nose to collect a liquid sample for testing. Sometimes a throat swab is done.
The recently approved FDA’s COVID-19 saliva test poses a lower risk for health care workers to collect samples.
The person spit into the plastic tube several times, and then gave the tube to the medical staff.
The FDA approved a household nasal swab kit. After the doctor approves a medically appropriate test, the person sends the sample collected by him to the laboratory for testing.
Due to the limited kits available at this time, medical personnel and emergency personnel will be given priority. The FDA warns consumers not to purchase unapproved home tests because they may be inaccurate and unsafe.