OAKDALE, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Infectolab Americas, an infectious disease testing laboratory from Oakdale in Minnesota, has validated a novel serology test for COVID-19. The United States still faces a testing crisis and our start-up lab is ready to help by providing fast and accurate testing for COVID-19 patients.
Serology testing for COVID-19 patients is an important part of managing the current crisis. SARS-CoV-2 can be hard to detect and a large part of this depends on exactly when a patient gets tested.
Studies with COVID-19 serology show that some cases can be detected as early as 5 days after symptoms appear; however, it is important to note that serology requires antigen exposure and antibody formation. With each day that passes, the chances of detection via serology increases. On Day 10 (after symptoms first became present), the immune response was detected in almost all patients.
A study from Iceland showed that only 50% of COVID-19-tested people displayed symptoms at the time of testing. This indicates that people may carry the virus and spread it without their knowledge.
Broad testing is required to identify people who had the disease with mild or no symptoms. Based on current guidelines and due to the shortage of available testing, patients with mild or no symptoms are not currently tested. Serology can be used to screen this population. This is a crucial step in crisis management, as it can show how many people are actually infected or have previously had the disease over the last couple of months.
Once widespread serology testing is conducted, it can identify potential immunologically-protected donors of antibody-rich plasma. This plasma can then be used to create a prophylactic treatment for first-line responders and the immunocompromised while a vaccine is developed.
Furthermore, the test can also be used to check the efficacy of potential vaccines that may be released on the market later this year. It can measure antibody titers and predict whether a person who will receive a vaccine has proper protection.
Infectolab Americas uses a method that analyzes ‘IgA and IgG’ immunoglobulins. These molecules are made by the immune system to recognize specific pathogens. Both underwent a process that makes them more specific to the pathogen than the more commonly-used IgM and ensures a lower rate of false positive test results.
The strengths of serology mean that it can:
- Screen a population to see the actual spread of disease and identify the immunologically protected
- Check the efficacy of vaccines
- Confirm infection in patients who sought medical treatment at a later stage (when swabs produced negative results)