NIV approves anti-body test kits for asymptomatic COVID-19 cases

The aim of the antibody test is to reveal whether the antibodies were released due to the infection of COVID-19 in the individual, who may not be showing symptoms of the disease.

Apr 10, 2020 14:38 IST
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The National Institute of Virology, Pune has approved anti-body test kits to identify asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had given its interim approval to antibody tests for COVID-19 on April 2, 2020. The rapid antibody tests will be used in the hotspots of the disease.

The aim of the test is to reveal whether the antibodies were released due to the infection of COVID-19 in the individual, who may not be showing symptoms of the disease.

The decision for the recommendation of antibody tests was taken at an emergency meeting of the National Task Force that was formed to deal with the ongoing health crisis.

Following is the list of antibody-based rapid tests: 

Significance:

The antibody test will help in the speedy detection of the widespread disease in the areas that have reported a large number of cases.

Key Highlights:

The tests will be conducted in the hotspot areas- zones suspected to have COVID-19 virus.

Approximately 20 existing and 22 potential COVID-19 hotspots have been identified by the health ministry.

The entire population in the hotspot areas will be tested using antibody tests. The result of the antibody test will be available in 15-20 minutes

RT-PCR (reverse transcription-PCR) will be confirming antibody presence by using throat/nasal swab.

Those who test positive for antibodies will be made to do RT-PCR tests that can reveal the presence of coronavirus and will be quarantined at home.

In order to ensure that there are no false positive or false negative, PCR based test is recommended for all positive results.

How does Antibody Test work?

The ICMR-recommended antibody test uses a few drops of blood. It is to determine whether the person has antibodies against COVID-19. Having antibodies in the immune system will mean that the person has been infected with the disease at some point in the past but has recovered, even though they were never tested for the disease before. It will mainly help identify asymptomatic COVID-19 cases.

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