As the world waits for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, antibody testing has attracted much attention. Scientists across the world have developed different antibody tests, but a lot remains unclear about how to interpret these antibody tests.
Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system to fight infection. They work by binding and blocking proteins needed to infect a human cell.
Although it’s unproven and unclear, some experts believe that once antibodies against the new Coronavirus develop, it’s possible to have some protection from re-infection, but who is protected and for how long remain unclear. Therefore, experts caution that current antibody tests should not be used to say someone is immune or fully protected from re-infection. Experts do agree that antibody testing may help in seeing how widespread COVID-19 is and provide information on how much spread could occur in the future.
Antibody tests essentially use an antigen, which imitates a part of the virus, as bait. A signal registers whether antibodies have taken the bait.
For more information, read the original article here: https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/04/417246/promise-and-uncertainties-antibody-testing-coronavirus