What is Antibody Test Kit? How does it work?
With the availability of vaccines for COVID 19, our lives have now almost resumed back to their former states of normalcy. However, there is a reason why we use the word ‘almost’. COVID 19 still lurks, and there is yet a danger of infection. Therefore, we must continue to take all necessary precautions. It is important to sanitize, wear masks, and follow local protocol for safety.
COVID 19 antibody test
The human body can produce antibodies when we contract an infection from a virus. Antibodies are a form of protein produced by the immune system to protect you from infection from a virus, bacterium or other microorganism that can cause disease.
You can now test for the presence of antibodies against COVID-19 with a COVID-19 antibody detection test. If the test results come out positive, it means that you were affected with COVID 19 at some point in the past. While the results show that you have developed immunity, you will not know how much immunity you have or how long it will last.
In response to an infection, the human body develops binding proteins and neutralizing antibodies. Neutralizing antibodies are the ones that stop infection. Therefore, the antibody test checks for the levels of neutralizing antibodies to determine whether you have developed immunity against COVID-19 or not. In essence, it is a neutralizing antibody rapid test kit.
Testing made possible at home
In the past, we had to go to a doctor’s office or a diagnostic center to get tested for antibodies. While you can still get tested for antibodies at a clinic, modern technology has also made it possible to test for the presence of antibodies for COVID-19 at home. You can carry out this test with the help of a COVID-19 antibody test kit. Let’s look at what this test kit is made up of and how it works.
What is antibody test kit?
A standard antibody test can be done on a blood sample provided at a clinic. Once you provide the blood sample, it gets sent for testing. You can get the result quite quickly; usually, it just takes a day.
You can also test for antibodies at home. A home antibody test kit works in an easy-to-understand manner. You are provided with safety lancet (a small medical needle) to prick your finger. Once you prick your finger, you need to press it against a special sample-collection capillary dropper given with the kit. Transfer the blood into the sample well of the test device. You can view your results on the spot within 20 minutes. You don’t need to send the samples anywhere for testing.
If you get neutralizing antibody rapid self-test kit, it is advisable to show your results to a doctor. They will help you understand what your report means.
What is COVID-19 antigen test? What is the difference between antigen and antibody test kits?
Now that we understand the antibody test kit, let’s also quickly look at how antigen test kit works. An antigen test helps to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 from a nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal or nasal swab sample. In simpler words, it tells you whether you currently have a COVID-19 infection or not. This is how it differs from an antibody test which can only tell you if you had an infection in the past and have already recovered from a COVID-19 infection. The antigen test kit is highly sensitive and can deliver results in as little as 20 minutes. The antigen and antibody test kits are both available for home use.
How accurate are my test results?
The COVID 19 antibody and antigen test kits have been designed and developed with the latest medical technology. As such, one can expect highly accurate results. In some cases, however, the results may not be correct due to certain circumstances which depend on how these kits are operated. For instance, the patient may not use the kit as per the specified instructions provided along with the kit. Also, if the sample is not collected properly or left in for too long before the test or result is checked, the results may not be correct. Finally, there is always a proper time window during which you can check for antibodies. Checking and testing too early or too late can lead to an incorrect test result.
Benefits of the neutralizing antibody rapid self-test kit
There are many advantages to having a self-test kit for antibodies.
- Helps medical staff: The availability of these kits for home use can help lessen the burden on medical staff who already are overworked due to the pandemic. Instead of lining up at a hospital, patients can collect their own samples at home and send them for testing to the laboratory as per instructions on the kit.
- Promotes a wider reach for testing: If people know that they can easily test for antibodies at home, they will be more likely to take the test. Many people hesitate to head to clinics and laboratories to get tested during the pandemic for fear of infection.
- Shorter wait times: You no longer need to wait in line at a diagnostic center to give your sample for testing. You can easily check your own status with a COVID-19 antibody test at home. Once the results are out, they will be made available online. This can possibly result in shorter waiting times.
- Easy testing for the homebound: It is quite hard for the elderly to go to a laboratory for tests. They are usually dependent on others and need help to get to a diagnostic center. The antibody self-test kit can make testing accessible to them too. These kits come with instructions that explain how antigen test kit works, so it’s not that hard to follow.
- Minimizes risk of infection: As the pandemic rages on, we need to be cautious and stay indoors as much as possible. The availability of self-test kits helps us practice social distancing as we reduce the risk of getting exposed to a possible COVID 19 infection when visiting a medical center.
Symptoms of COVID 19
So, how do you know if you must take a COVID 19 test? The answer lies in being aware of the symptoms of COVID 19. If you are aware of the symptoms, you will know when to seek help or treatment. Here are some of the main signs of a COVID 19 infection –
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of taste or smell
- Body ache
In serious cases, patients may experience chest pain, feel confused, and lose the ability to speak. These symptoms can vary in severity between patients. If you or someone you care about is experiencing any of these symptoms, do reach out to a doctor immediately.
ABFind: Post Vaccination Neutralising Antibody Test
Meril’s ABFind is a neutralising antibody test kit that lets you test for neutralising antibodies from the comfort of your home. This user-friendly test kit comes with simple instructions and delivers results in as little as 20 minutes. Meril continually strives to bring the latest in medical technology to the masses to improve quality of life and promote wellbeing. The ABFind test kit can offer real peace of mind by helping provide you with the knowledge of whether you have COVID 19 antibodies or not.
Until the pandemic completely passes, we still need to take every step to keep ourselves safe. Continue to adhere to the social distancing protocols that have been established in your city and country. Do pay special attention to caring for vulnerable sections of the population, such as young children and the elderly who have comorbidities. If you or your loved ones have not yet received your COVID 19 vaccines, do reach out to your doctor as soon as you can.