What is antibody testing for COVID-19, and how is it useful?

In this Special Feature, we pursue these questions and describe the possible role of antibody testing during the ongoing pandemic.We also explain why antibody testing, though useful, is only one part of a global effort needed to reduce the negative impact of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, some researchers argue that deploying antibody tests more widely in communities could ultimately help ease the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus.Specifically, a better understanding of how many people have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection would enable specialists to more accurately estimate the dynamic and rate of the virus’ spread. Meanwhile, antibody tests could play an additional role — confirming who qualifies to donate convalescent plasma, a component of blood that contains antibodies.However, researchers warn that these passports would be untenable, as there is no clear evidence that people who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infections have acquired long-term immunity to the virus.In light of the potential benefits of antibody testing, researchers affiliated with various healthcare and pharmaceutical companies have rushed to develop accurate tests that could be distributed to points of care and, eventually, to people’s homes.Abbott claim that their test has “99.6% specificity and 100% sensitivity for patients tested 14 days after symptoms began,” which would indicate a high level of accuracy.For people in the U.S. who do wish to take advantage of antibody tests, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourage them to contact their healthcare providers for more information.

Read more at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/what-is-antibody-testing-for-covid-19-and-how-is-it-useful

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