The accuracy of the coronavirus antibody test is relative to the method of testing that is applied to the blood sample.
The antibody test can either be completed using a blood sample that has been drawn from a vein and then sent to the testing laboratory or a finger-prick of blood that is tested using a point-of-care (POC) testing process. Currently the regulatory authorities are examining the accuracy of a finger prick blood sample tested by the laboratory versus the blood taken from the vein. The results have yet to be produced and all testing by this method is prohibited.
The full blood sample is tested at an external laboratory for the presence of the antibody IgG. This is the protective antibody which in other infections develops later after the antigenic stimulus and has shown to provide longer term protection against reinfection from the disease. Currently the Nomad laboratory measures this this antibody at over 99% for false positives and false negatives (specificity and sensitivity). These 2 measures are useful measures to demonstrate the level of risk of infection within a population as false results. The test results provided by the external laboratory are anonymously sent to the public health services to be included in the reported statistics of the infection in the local community.
The point-of-care antibody tests are completed using a finger prick sample of blood placed into a test cassette which when a buffer solution is added is drawn across a test strip that is impregnated with an enzyme producing colour strips that detect the presence of the antibodies. These test kits often test for the two antibodies IgM (produced at the start of the infection) and IgG. These test kits can be supplied for use under the supervision of the health care professional and can produce a result within 10-15 minutes.
Nomad clinics offer two services for point-of-care testing. These can either be used in clinics with a healthcare professional or, for clients unable to attend the clinics, these can be supplied and used only when a healthcare professional can view the procedure and provide the supporting advice via a video link.
Thank you for reading our blog ‘How Accurate is the Coronavirus Antibody Test?’. Book your coronavirus antibody test with Nomad Travel today.