June 11, 2020
Antibody tests have been heralded as a crucial weapon in the battle against the Global pandemic. But why? These are serological tests that determine whether a person has had Covid19 & then recovered; they differ from diagnostic tests that simply show whether a person is infected at the time of testing.
They do this by searching for proteins called antibodies in the blood stream. Antibodies are produced by the immune system’s B cells when they are activated due to the presence of a particular foreign pathogen’s antigen; antibodies specifically target certain antigens on the pathogen. Having antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid19, means a person’s immune system will, in theory, be able to identify, target & fight off the infection if the person is re-infected. The precise strength of the immunity these antibodies confer to infected people is still unknown. A program including Antigen & Antibody testing helps lower anxiety for employees having to return to work. It helps to confirm to those who “think” they’ve had it, but probably haven’t or those who may not know they’ve had it, but they have. It gives employers confidence to make informed decisions & follow guidelines.