It’s hard to keep up with the information emerging about Covid-19 at the moment and the mercurial nature of that information can leave you feeling like you’ve got a headache!
One notable development in the global fight against the virus is the introduction of an antibody test, specially designed to detect the past presence of Covid-19. We cover the important information that’s currently out there about the test, below.
What is an antibody test?
Firstly, what is an antibody? Antibodies are weapons our bodies develop to fight off a pathogen. Our bodies make different types of antibodies, engineered to fight off the coronavirus over the course of 7-14 days.
An antibody test (also known as a serological test) is used to ascertain if a person has already had the coronavirus and has since recovered. The test involves looking at a person’s blood, to look for coronavirus antibodies to see if they have recovered from the virus and have now developed a degree of immunity to it.
A small amount of blood is taken with a finger prick sample and mixed with part of the virus to observe if there is a reaction between the two. If there is a reaction, it means the individual possesses the antibodies that know how to fight off the infection and are immune. If there is no reaction, then the individual hasn’t yet had the coronavirus.
Are the current coronavirus antibody tests effective?
It’s important to note that the WHO has cast some doubt over the efficacy of coronavirus antibody tests, as it is not yet clear if a person becomes immune after having had, and recovered from, the virus.
More sophisticated antibody tests are currently in development, with scientists trying to figure out how much of which antibodies give immunity to Covid-19. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at the Harvard TH Chan school of public health said the ideal antibody tests would “give you value – similar to how people are used to getting a cholesterol value or a sugar level”.
More ”reliable” antibody tests are currently being developed, with several countries involved in the race to find a foolproof antibody test.
Biozek & SureScreen antibody tests
Both Biozek and SureScreen are both offering antibody tests and are both prestigious market leaders in their field.
The tests these companies use are CE marked for professional use (CE meaning approved by European standards), which means they’re carried out by a medical professional in a medical setting.
One such establishment offering the Biozek MHRA certified test is Harley Street Health Centre, which claims the test is 98.6% accurate.
These antibody tests take a mere 10-15 minutes to yield a positive or negative result.
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the news, to look for developments where testing is concerned. It could well be that in a few week’s time, a much more sophisticated test arrives in the UK and is available on the NHS.
We hope our readers are staying safe and well. 😊