Coronavirus: The Efficacy of Antibody Tests

Coronavirus antibody testing is done on the individuals who are either currently suffering from covid-19 or have had the infection in the past. Antibodies are a type of protein that the body synthesizes to fight the virus attack. They are found as blood components in an individual after recovering from a certain infection. The antibodies help in preventing future attacks from the same infection. Doctors also use antibodies to prepare vaccines for viruses.

Coronavirus testing comprises two types of tests: antigen and molecular.

Antigen test:

The term antigen means a protein that helps us to fight a certain virus. In this antigen test, doctors collect samples from the nose and throat. They then test it for antigens, which takes a basic of minutes. This test is fast and cheaper. Many doctors use this test to their patients for rapid results. However, a downside with this test is that it cannot detect the presence of antibodies all the time. Meaning, the chances of negative false alarms are possible in this test. Based on the case and the emergency, your doctor might redo the test after some days or hours, or might suggest the molecular test that we will see very soon below.

Molecular test:

This test is also called polymerase chain reaction test or PCR in popular form. Health care workers collect a swab sample from your throat and cheek and send them for an antibody test. The test detects the presence of certain proteins, which share accurate results than the antigen test. However, the efficiency of this test relies on the expertise of the health care worker performing the test. The results are accurate in most cases, however, the cost of the test may be higher than the antigen test.

In the case of the coronavirus antibody test, the test is to do only after a person fully recovers from the infection. The test results differ from the day of the recovery as well as the person’s natural immunity levels. To perform an antibody test for coronavirus, doctors take a blood sample. This would usually involve a drop of blood through pricking. The test results for antibodies vary may take time from few minutes to 2 days. If your Coronavirus antibody testing center has in-house facilities to test for the results, you can expect the results in few minutes. If they depend on outsourced test results, you may have to wait for two days at a maximum.

As we knew earlier, the presence of antibodies indicates that your body has fought against the virus and now it is ready to defend itself from future attacks from the given virus. However, in the case of coronavirus, the opinions seem to differ. The World Health Organization shares that the individual responses are varying when it comes to the efficacy of antibody tests. We may assume that there is no conclusive clarity on this aspect, at least till now.

But interestingly, the antibody test is useful if you want to donate your plasma for the treatment of other coronavirus patients. There have been many successful cases about recovered patients who voluntarily donated plasma for researchers, doctors, and for treating patients.

If you have been infected with coronavirus and recovered from it, you should consider donating your antibodies for the sake of others. You can approach your nearest coronavirus health care provider to gather the correct information about where to donate your plasma and whom to approach.

Takeaways:

• The coronavirus is testing modern science in many ways. Researches have been going on to cure – some fruitful while some not.

• However, staying responsible and alert is one simplest ways to stay away from this deadly virus. In many cases, simple practices like hand hygiene, wearing masks, and sanitizing the surroundings are helping to a great extent in preventing the virus spread.

• For those who are infected, the coronavirus is getting naturally cured if their immunity levels are high. For severe cases, medical treatment is available and the success rate is positively improving.

• For those who were infected and recovered, the antibody tests help understand the stage of their recovery. These tests also help you to understand the level of antibodies and donate them for the greater good.

However, make sure you are approaching an authorized coronavirus antibody testing center for efficient results.

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