A UK health company has started an antibody test to track clear reactions to the Covid virus or vaccine.
According to Medichecks, the CE-marked fingerprint test can be carried out at home and detects antibodies against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.
The results are available in the mail within two to three days and identify a number on a scale from 0.4 to 2500 (units per milliliter).
A value below 0.8 means that no antibodies were detected; anything above it shows the presence of antibodies to the virus.
This means that individuals can monitor their personal antibody levels, which paves the way for better intelligence of the immune response in different people. The test can be done at three to four month intervals to measure the variation.
Dr. Sam Rodgers, Chief Medical Officer at Medichecks, said, “What is learned about the effects of COVID-19 on the immune system is still a moving target, but this test allows people to monitor their antibody levels over time. It is not yet known how long immunity wears off after it develops, how much antibodies provide immunity to the coronavirus, or to what extent revaccination is required.
“It is also a focus of the ongoing study whether antibodies can fall off more quickly in certain groups of people or whether a COVID-19 infection produces more or fewer antibodies than the vaccine.
“We won’t be fully rid of COVID-19 in the UK anytime soon. However, the better we can track the variability in antibodies in the UK population, the better we can see how this virus can be treated in the long term.”
The NHS Blood and Transplant Service (NHSBT) has urged more male Covid survivors to donate plasma for its national treatment study.
Analysis by NHSBT found that 43% of male donors had enough Covid antibodies for their plasma to help patients hospitalized with the virus, compared with just 29% of women – a difference they termed “statistically significant” .
Dr. Rodgers added, “As a guide, NHSBT is for volunteers with antibody levels greater than 62 (U / mL) to donate plasma to treat people seriously ill with coronavirus. This does not mean that if you have lower levels you will not be protected as we do not know what level of protection antibodies occur at.
“A number of studies have shown that coronavirus antibodies remain in the blood for at least six to eight months for most people. For some, especially those who haven’t had symptoms, antibody levels may drop more quickly. The Medichecks test can give you a result below 0.8 (U / ml) even if you have had a coronavirus infection in the past. This may be because you had mild or nonexistent symptoms. It could also be because your body responded to the virus with different parts of your immune system.
“There is a higher chance of a negative result (less than 0.8 U / ml) if the test is done too early after a coronavirus infection or vaccination. We therefore recommend waiting at least three weeks after a known infection or vaccination before testing. ”
The anti-SARS-CoV-2-S coronavirus antibody test, made by Roche, costs £ 69.