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Covid 19 – Antibody Testing: What it can and can’t tell you

API COVID-RAPID point of care 15 min IgG / IgM Covid-19 kits  

Covid-19 is still a very new infectious disease caused by a coronavirus. Since it is a disease that has not been encountered before, there is a lot that people are yet to know, and it also might take some time before fully understanding the virus. Different international agencies have directed their resources and attention to discovering as much as they can about the virus. There is a long journey ahead. The only notable progress that has been realized is antibody tests. 

While there are dozens of Antigen and Antibody test kits across the globe, most have limitations. API Covid-rapid antibody kits have shown superior performance. They are powerful, being able to give detailed results that can help distinguish active and recovered infections, and show accurate results with extremely low frequency of false-positives (in some clinical trials – Zero-  0 %  false-positives. More so, they work fast and provide results in 15 minutes or under. They are also scalable and portable, enhancing the effectiveness and efficacy of antibody testing of the virus. 

While the availability of antibody tests is a significant step towards beating the virus, there is still a lot that they cannot tell you. However, it is still a vital instrument in the fight against Covid-19.

What can antibody testing tell you?

Here is what rapid antibody testing kits can do to help scientists in tackling Covid-19. 

1. Show the extent of Covid spread

Covid-19 can show up nine to twenty-eight days after infection. The rapid test kits are able to detect the antibodies in an infected person. During this time, an infected person can still spread the disease if not isolated. As much as the test kits cannot directly detect the virus’s presence, it can show the extent of the virus’s spread in a community. 

2. How far we are to achieving herd immunity

Herd immunity is indirect protection achieved when a large percentage of the population is exposed to an infectious virus. The immunity can either be achieved through vaccination or previous infection. When this happens, the population that is yet to be infected is protected. 

Scientists have revealed that herd immunity for Covid-19 will be achieved when 70% of a given population is exposed to the virus. The rapid test kits can help researchers establish how far a population is to achieving herd immunity. Through antibody testing, estimates of the population that has been exposed can be acquired. 

Things antibody testing will not tell you

However, for the most part, rapid antibody (other than API COVID-RAPID) test kits may not be able to give detailed information on the infections. Here are the things that a rapid antibody test kit will not tell you.

1. Past exposure to Covid 

As much as rapid test kits help establish how far a population is from achieving herd immunity as a result of previous infections, it does not help in pointing out past exposures. The kit will only show if a patient is positive or negative to the antigen or antibody. To get information on prior exposure, scientists and researchers will need more than the kit. Studies and exposure data can be used to identify whether a patient had been previously exposed. Our COVID-RAPID Antibody Test Kits reveal past and present exposure. 

2. What to do to prevent future infections

The rapid antibody test kits can only go as far as showing the people that have been infected. The data collected on the numbers can also be used to determine how long it might take before achieving herd immunity. The other thing that the data from the test kits can be used for is to determine whether or not the isolation strategies in place are effective. 

Most kits have limitations such as accuracy, and therefore, cannot be used to unfold much about immunity. Strategies for the prevention of infections cannot be provided directly by the tests. However, scientists, researchers, and doctors can use the data collected on diseases to identify effective prevention strategies. 

3. Whether or not infected people produce antibodies

Usually, antibodies can act as immunity passports. This happens when antibodies produced by the body after an infection slow down the development of a pathogen, or prevent an infection all the same. Natural infection can lead to the development of immunity to a particular pathogen. The process can, however, take up to two weeks. 

While some kits like the API provide accurate antibody testing results, others seem to struggle with the same. Only until the reliability of the kits can be confirmed is when the immunodiagnostic tests can be trusted. This means that the current situation is that the kits cannot be used to determine if infected people produce antibodies. More validation from studies and other intensive tests can be able to confirm this. So far, not much information on antibodies response has been approved. 

Evidence presented to WHO since Covid-19 tests kicked off has shown that people who have recovered from Covid-19 have antibodies to it. Also, it was brought to the attention of WHO that people who had these antibodies still had low levels of neutralizing antibodies. What that means is that cellular immunity is still critical for the full recovery of Covid-19. This shows that there is still no evidence that antibodies produced by people infected with Covid-19 can prevent future infections. More so, rapid kits by themselves cannot tell you if infected people can produce antibodies. More lab tests and data will be required to determine this.

Features of API Covid point-of-care rapid test kits that make them superior

API COVID-RAPID point of care 15 min IgG / IgM Covid-19 kits are not the standard rapid test kits. They fill the gap the other test kits have not been able to fill. Here is what makes them unique.

1. As of May, 23 2020, our API kits show an aggregate of 93.44% Sensitivity & 98.04% Specificity on a sample size of 1,794. Switzerland, Belgium and Harvard showed 100% Specificity and accuracy on approximately 500 patients. 

Most of the test kits in the market have not been able to show accurate results, limiting the determination of the prevalence of the virus in a population. API kits have been shown to possess  100% specificity in the presence of Covid-19 antibodies. The best part is that the API 15 min rapid test kits capture even asymptomatic cases. That is 6 out of 10 of the cases. 

The kit is also able to capture current and past infections. Note that this is something that different agencies that are tackling Covid-19 are struggling with. This feature can be used as proof of immunity and play a big part in taking Covid-19 management to the next level. 

2. Simplicity

Conducting point of care Covid-19 tests is already as challenging as it is. Logistics, availability of kits, and health workers to do the tests are some of the problems being experienced. Some testing procedures also take a long time to produce results, causing delays in the pandemic mitigation. API rapid tests are user friendly. All it takes is a prick of the fingertip to collect drops of blood. The blood is placed on a strip paper with reagent, which shows the results after 15 minutes. With these kits, thousands of tests can be conducted within a short time, making data required for the management of the virus available in good time. 

3. It is powerful

API Covid-RAPID point of care tests can distinguish between active and recovered infections. All that data is critical in gathering more information on the prevalence of the virus in a community and give hope on the possibility of surviving it. That is not all; the results will go a long way in helping scientists and researchers point out the effective strategies for containing the virus.

As much as rapid antibody test kits cannot tell if an infected person produces antibodies, they are still useful. The use of reliable and accurate test kits like API COVID-RAPID test kits is critical in tackling this infection. Information on whether herd immunity is a possibility can also be derived from specific data on infections provided by these kits. 

It can show scientists and researchers the extent of the spread of the virus in a population. The information is useful in creating strategies that will curb the spread of the infection. Rapid test kits have a critical role to play in flattening the curve of the spread of Covid-19.

Paul Singh, MHA, BA

​Covid Antibody Diagnostics​™

A Natures Body Wellness Corporation
255 Primera Blvd
Lake Mary
FL 32746 

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