The world health organization (who) has issued an alert about testing for the presence of antibodies to the coronavirus, which States that there are no serological tests that could show whether individuals are immune or protected from re-infection. This writes CNBC.
“Antibody tests can measure the level of the serological presence of antibodies, but this does not mean that someone is immune, said Dr. Maria van Kerkhove, head of emerging diseases and zoonoses in the who.
The so-called serological tests or antibody tests can indicate hurt people COVID-19 in the past, it hurts now asymptomatic or has recovered.
According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, more than 560 000 of the 2.1 million cases of coronavirus in the world has recovered. However, experts on infectious diseases say that the total number of cases is probably much higher, because people carry the virus without symptoms and not all countries carry out mass testing.
In the US antibody tests only began to spread. The President of the United States Donald trump encouraged the States to use tests as the country is planning to relax some stringent measures of social distancing, introduced to combat the pandemic, which has infected more than 760 000 people in the United States.
According to Kerchove, who officials found that many countries suggest that the antibody tests will be able to “fix what, in their opinion, will be a measure of immunity.”
“What makes this test measures the level of antibodies in the blood. And the antibodies, in turn, the body’s response to infection by the virus, she said at a press conference in the headquarters of the who in Geneva. Right now we have no evidence that the use of the test may show that a person is immune or protected from re-infection”.
Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the who programme on emergency situations, said that scientists still determine the duration of protection that antibodies may give the person infected with coronavirus.
“No one is sure whether the protected person with the antibodies against the disease in the future or re-infection,” he said.
“Plus, some tests have problems with sensitivity , he added. They can give a false negative result.”
Earlier, representatives of the who stated that not all people who have recovered from coronavirus, have antibodies to fight the infection, raising concerns that patients may not develop immunity after the transfer COVID-19.
“As for recovery, then re-infestation, I believe that we have no answers to this question. Now it is unknown,” said Ryan.
“Pre-testing patients in Shanghai has shown that some patients “not detected the presence of antibodies”, while others have had a lot of them. But the probability of re-infection, even in patients with antibodies, is a separate issue,” said Dr. Kerkhove.