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Antibody coronavirus tests could deliver faster results, better understanding of reach of the virus ^ | 04/02/2020 | By Emily Bamforth

Posted on 04/02/2020 6:41:31 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- There’s no way to know right now how much of Ohio’s population has coronavirus, because of limited testing.

The “tip of the iceberg” is how Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton refers to the 2,547 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

A potential solution to know just how widespread the coronavirus is -- and how many people have had it without developing symptoms -- could be antibody testing.

The idea is to check for antibodies the body has produced to fight off the coronavirus, basically to see if someone has developed immunity. The method uses blood testing instead of swab testing, and is much faster, with companies advertising results in fewer than 30 minutes.

Antibody testing is faster because a plate is prepared with part of the virus called a protein. The blood is dropped on the plate, to see if antibodies fight the virus on the plate. Swab testing, which can take eight hours or more, requires time for health professionals to produce enough of the virus’s genetic material to get a result.

“I have dreams in my mind of, just like in a diabetes test, where you can get a prick of blood and can tell very quickly that they have high glucose, we’re hoping we can tell whether someone has high antibodies,” Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said in a statehouse briefing Wednesday. “That will be an elaborate strategy we hope to have in the future.”

Antibody testing could be a way to measure who was already infected by the virus, without getting sick. The Chinese government recently announced that there are 1,541 asymptomatic infections under medical observation in the country. STAT reports multiple countries in Asia are doing serological surveys using the testing, which will allow researchers to know just how much the virus has spread.

Angelo Delucia, associate professor of molecular virology and cancer biology at Northeast Ohio Medical University, said that checking for the antibodies could show not only whether a person contracted the infection, but how likely the person was to spread it.

If a tests show a high level of antibodies, it’s likely the body fought the virus off and the person was less likely to infect others.

“That’s post-pandemic work,” he said.

Delucia said serology testing could discover information about at-risk groups to create a priority list for vaccinations, and identify individuals with a strong autoimmune response who could share antibodies with those struggling to fight off the virus.

Acton said Ohio does not have access to serology testing, but is optimistic for the future.

She said the tests have more potential for getting insight into how coronavirus spreads than diagnosing cases, because the serology test requires antibodies that build up over the course of the virus.

The Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved any serology tests to test for coronavirus because of this reason.

“In early days of infection when the body’s immune response is still building, antibodies may not be detected,” the organization wrote in a emailed statement to “This limits the test’s effectiveness for diagnosis.”

There are two types of antibodies, a weaker type that shows three to four days into the virus and then more substantial antibodies that kick in about a week to 10 days after the virus is contracted, Delucia said.

Despite its warnings about serology testing for diagnosis, the FDA approved a change on March 16 which would allow hospitals to use the tests, with the inclusion of several disclaimers, including:

-- notification provided to the FDA

-- statements included with test reports, noting “the test has not been reviewed by the FDA and that results from antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection or to inform infection status”

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antibodies; antibodytest; chinavirustest; coronavirus; covid19

1 posted on 04/02/2020 6:41:31 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

2 posted on 04/02/2020 7:02:45 AM PDT by Travis McGee (
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To: SeekAndFind

THIS is what lets us get back to work.

3 posted on 04/02/2020 8:11:20 AM PDT by tinyowl
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To: SeekAndFind

Thanks for this; info; hoping and praying for this effort!!

4 posted on 04/02/2020 8:29:49 AM PDT by WildHighlander57 ((WildHighlander57 returning after lurking since 2000)
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To: WildHighlander57

This is the current trend in some labs across the country. I know of one trying to gear up an antibody test regimen. It is not as simple as it sounds as a good deal of these tests are done by machines and they need be programmed to do what you want them to do and to do it almost precisely correct. They are still rolling out the first batch of swab testing now after something like 6 weeks development which was remarkable. No idea when this will be available for large scale use but it cannot be understated how important this is.

5 posted on 04/02/2020 8:38:25 AM PDT by Mouton (The media is the enemy of the people.)
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To: Mouton

” it cannot be understated how important this is.”

That said, I read somewhere in today’s WSJ, this was never done for past SARS,Flu...

A necessary tool to get past all the hype AND to select protected frontline workers.
Not just physicians, nurses and the many hospital employees. Yes, they should be first in the antibody test line.

Next up a trade; personal information for a free test(info used for tracking).

Cash on the barrelhead for an anonymous test.

I used to get my flu shot at the VA, drive up with shirt off and present your DD 214, arm out the window...

6 posted on 04/02/2020 9:15:22 AM PDT by DUMBGRUNT
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To: tinyowl; SeekAndFind

“THIS is what lets us get back to work.”

I think that yesterday, I saw an article that claimed Germany is already doing some of this testing, and issuing certificates to those who had antibodies.

7 posted on 04/02/2020 1:28:18 PM PDT by BeauBo
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To: tinyowl

you are right but Dr. Farci says it is low priority. Maybe because he has yet to buy stock in the test kits

8 posted on 04/02/2020 3:19:25 PM PDT by eartick (Stupidity is expecting the government that broke itself to go out and fix itself. Texan for TEXIT!)
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To: eartick


9 posted on 04/03/2020 5:27:59 PM PDT by khelus
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To: SeekAndFind

This type of testing is going to tell a whole new tale, one which is going to make a lot of politicians, their panel’s of experts and modelled projections look very foolish. That is why Fauci is not enthusiastic about this form of testing.

10 posted on 04/04/2020 1:35:46 PM PDT by fireman15
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