COVID-19 Test

Rapid Antibody testing vs PCR test for COVID-19 patients

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | April 17th, 2020

The ICMR has allowed rapid antibody testing in India, experts believe that it will help the agencies to enhance screening and more identifying capabilities of those having the infection.

Presently the government uses the PCR tests to detect Covid-19 from samples of throat or nasal swab of people with symptoms or those who have had travel history or come in contact with a covid 19 patient.

BENEFITS OF THE TEST:

·     Experts believe rapid antibody tests will help to enhance screening and identifying capabilities

·     The new tests are most suitable to detect whether the disease is spreading in the hotspots and screen large group of people say in villagers or group of migrant workers.

·     Experts say that antibody test doesn’t always pick up early viral infection but they can indicate if someone has any particular virus even if they are asymptomatic.

·     This type of test is important for community surveillance and investigation purpose in quarantine  areas or susceptible  zones.

·     The rapid testing kits are quicker to get early results around 15 mins  compared to the nasal swab test  that takes around 5 hours

·     Its is cheaper than the PCR test.

How is the test done:

They use blood samples of suspected patients and normally takes around 15-30 minutes to give the result.

Under this, one has to clean their finger with an alcohol swab and use the lancet provided for finger-pricks.

What does it detect:

It detects the levels of antibodies with either IGM  OR  IGG in other words, whether your body is in the process of fighting the virus (igm)or the later that you have fought of the infection  and your are now immune to it.(iGg)

Other therapies being debated on treatment modalities for Covid-19:

1)     Plasmaphersis of IgG antibodies from a recovered patient are injected in an infected one in to build immunity and fight of the infection.

In US FDA has approved plasma therapy in emergency situations, protocols for dosage aren’t clear and evidence of it working is anecdotal and very little.

In China, five Covid-19 patients on ventilators, showed no signs of the virus after six days of receiving plasma therapy.

Trials for this therapy have already begun and data will start coming from around the world. 

As more patients recover, there will be more plasma available, and plasma donation from one patient can be used to help four other patients.

2)     BCG vaccine 

BCG vaccine may be giving some protection against coronavirus. Research is on.

3)     Use of hydroxychoroquine with antiviral medication to treat patients.

As of know the standard protoolcos for treatment is general line of conservative management, But some experts have suggested above line of treatment ,and studies are going on to see the success due to toxicity of the antimalarial drug.

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