The strategy to combat Covid-19 is a balancing act, and it’s a challenging one. It’s about protecting public health but also keeping the economy afloat.
A lynchpin of this strategy is antibody testing.
It provides information on individuals as to whether they have had the virus, and it helps provide useful data about the spread of the virus.
This intelligence is critical in the fight against Covid-19.
In addition to our widely-used Viasure® Real-Time VCR prediction kit, we are now launching a new specialist tool to help in the continuing fight against Covid-19 – a covid antibody test kit.
Making decisions on both an individual and organisational level about Covid-19 requires clear data.
Antibody tests can provide this data. Compared to a vaccine, these are not effective in preventing someone catching the virus directly, but they are a highly practical frontline tool in any strategic defence against it.
Critical decisions about opening and closing businesses, the movement of people, and household mixing can all be much more targeted and effective if there is greater knowledge about the spread of infection.
A key question officials must answer when looking at lockdown measures and other restrictions is how to avoid further waves of infections, leading to more lockdowns.
Lockdown is a blunt instrument. It is an effective tactic, but once it lifts, inevitably the cases of Covid infection rise.
But antibody testing can help break this cycle.
By giving a clear picture of where there are infections on the rise, it enables much more localised suppression of the virus.
Large numbers of people who contract Covid are asymptomatic cases. This has made the detection work of keeping tabs on the virus that much harder, and has contributed to its spread.
Therefore, the more people that get tests, the more visibility there is of what the virus is doing and how it is spreading.
There have been logistical and capacity issues in making antibody tests more widely available.
Up to now, digitally-enabled test and trace has had limited impact in the UK. But serological testing for antibodies can identify people who have had prior infection and have developed antibodies.
If there is large-scale, rapid testing for antibodies, then this can bolster test and trace strategies and help reduce the spread of Covid.
This testing kit is a single-use, lateral flow biochemical test for the qualitative detection and differentiation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgM antibodies.
It tests human serum and plasma or whole blood, and it takes just 10 minutes.
This rapid test kit comes from a partnership between CTK Biotech, Avonchem and Pro Lab Diagnostics.
We launched it in early March, and it has had extensive and vigorous evaluation. We believe its ease of use and rapid turnaround time make it ideal for essential Covid-19 testing.
Overall, our evaluation shows that the Onsite® COVID-19 performs well, is user-friendly, and gives rapid results that are easy to interpret.
See this post for full technical details, evaluation reports and performance data.