- The FDA has approved the first test for COVID-19 antibodies.
- Several teams are performing blood tests to show if someone has already been infected with COVID-19 and if they may have an immune response.
- These types of tests can help staff find out who is no longer at risk for this disease.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved the first COVID-19 antibody test last Thursday.
This approval was given when several university laboratories and medical companies were developing blood tests to help identify people infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus that causes COVID-19). It was done.
These tests can identify people who are immune to the virus. This frees healthcare professionals, first responders and other important professionals from the risk of returning to work.
What is an “immunity” a look at?
There are two main types of COVID-19 testing.
The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test checks for the presence of viral genetic material (RNA) in nasal or throat swabs. These tests can show whether someone has an active infection.
The other is serological testing. This type of blood test looks for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 produced by the immune system.
Antibodies help the body fight infections and are specific to viruses, bacteria or other pathogens.
Dr. Juan Dumois, a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Johns Hopkins University, said: “If [COVID-19] antibodies are found after a serological test, it means [a person] has been infected with the disease in the past. Virus.” All the children. Hospital, from Newswise’s expert team.
In addition, “these antibodies may be present in people who may be infected but never show symptoms,” he added.
However, people with weakened immune systems may not be able to produce these antibodies correctly.
After transmission, it may take several days for the human body to produce antibodies against the virus. This makes serological testing less useful than viral RNA testing in the process of diagnosing COVID-19.
But antibodies can last for a long time in the body, so even a few weeks ago, antibodies are great for determining whether someone has the virus.
The serological test is called an “immune test” because, theoretically, people who have recovered from COVID-19 are immune to the virus.
Stephen J. Ellic, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of Harvard Medical School (Stephen J. Virus Contract.. Virus is the first and has been successful in fighting it.)
He said: In this case, they should be immune to the current virus.
However, because SARS-CoV-2 is too new, many problems have arisen.
How long will this immunity last? Will people with mild or asymptomatic symptoms get the same protection? Will the virus mutate to overcome the immune system?
Researchers began to search for answers. But many people may not know it for months or even years.
In a small study, scientists fed the virus to macaque monkeys to recover. After 28 days, they were exposed to the monkey virus again.
Monkeys have immunity. However, since this is a short-term study, the duration of this preventive measure has not yet been shown.
Other scientists are studying the virus that recovered from SARS in 2003. It is a coronavirus that causes SARS, similar to the one that causes COVID-19.
If these people still have antibodies against the SARS virus, it may indicate people’s response to the new coronavirus.
Sumit Chanda, director and professor of the Immunology and Health Program, said: “This provides us with clues that the current immune response to the virus may last for several years or even longer.” Sanwise Pathogenesis, Burnham Prebis Medical Discovery Institute, Newswise Group.
The virus may also mutate and exceed the body’s defense capabilities. Only time will tell, but until now, the virus seems to be slowly developing.
At present, experts suspect that the virus recovered from COVID-19 will benefit from virus protection at least for a short period of time.
Dr.Anthony Fauci director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told Dr.Mike YouTube that they will have a degree of resistance to immunity, probably for years.
When will there be extensive testing?
The FDA relaxed its regulations on this type of testing in February and should speed up the test slightly, but the company has not yet proven that the test is accurate.
On April 1, the agency approved the first antibody test used by Cellex in the United States. Look for antibodies in the blood on your fingers. The results are given in about 15 minutes.
FierceBiotech said that the test will be performed by prescription, although there is no indication as to how long the test will take.
As with other serological tests under development, having antiviral antibodies does not guarantee immunity.
In addition, several groups are already conducting serological tests for COVID-19, and researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have developed one of the country’s earliest viruses.
UCSF scientists have developed the test and hope to start using it this week, although it will not be available to the public.
Other countries, including the United Kingdom and Germany, are considering testing to help people who have been vaccinated avoid blockages, such as “immunization passports”
Everyone in the country may not have enough tests. Therefore, health care professionals, police, first responders, and other important professionals will most likely be the first to use these professionals.
This will enable people who are immune to the virus to return to work more quickly.
However, as more and more tests become available, serological testing may become a way for others or even entire countries to leave or leave prematurely.
This must be done carefully to ensure that people have fully recovered from COVID-19 and no longer shed virus particles.
Elledge recommends combining antibody testing with viral RNA testing to look for active infections.
Ellledge said: “If [individuals] have no symptoms, they should be tested for viral nucleic acid.” “If they don’t have a detectable virus, they should be run within a week thereafter.”