Graphic shows how the antibody test works.


What is the new Covid-19 antibody test?

May 18, 2020 - Swiss drugmaker Roche has launched its new SARS-CoV-2 antibody test. Known as Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2, the test determines whether a person may have gained immunity against the virus with 99.8% accuracy.

The test involves taking a small sample of blood and testing it for antibodies which will indicate exposure to coronavirus disease (Covid-19). It is run on a Roche-manufactured platform (cobas e analyser) that is widely available in hospitals and laboratories around the world. A single test takes approximately 18 minutes.

Public Health England has approved the test, following the lead of the European Union and United States which have already given it preliminary approval, Reuters said.

Mass antibody testing with millions of kits is being considered by many countries as a way to speed the reopening of economies devastated by lockdowns and to introduce more tailored social distancing measures.

The antibody tests – also known as a serology test – show who has been infected, although it is not yet clear whether the presence of antibodies to the new coronavirus confers permanent immunity.

PUBLISHED: 18/05/2020; STORY: Graphic News
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