COVID-19 Antibody Tests

Posted by Merry, Volunteer Mentor @merpreb, Sun, Apr 19 10:48am

In today’s Washington Post, there was an alert to be careful of Antibody tests. Antibody tests test whether you are immune to COVID-19 or not. “Antibody, or serological, tests are designed to identify people who may have overcome COVID-19, including those who had no symptoms, and developed an immune response. They are not designed to detect active infections.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/04/19/fda-antibody-tests-coronavirus-review/

The troubling thing about this is that there hasn’t been enough data collected so far to determine if there is even immunity to this horrible virus. False data and tests that haven’t been certified as reliable by the FDA can lead to a mess. As this article states, “Having many inaccurate tests is worse than having no tests at all.”

Has anyone been tested who questions the results?

Great question and information, Merry. I thought I'd add this information about antibody testing from Mayo Clinic.

– Antibody Testing, in Pictures | Mayo Clinic's Discovery's Edge https://discoverysedge.mayo.edu/2020/04/15/antibody-testing-in-pictures/
"Convalescent plasma therapy for the treatment of COVID-19 virus infection is based on the function of antibodies, tiny proteins created by the immune system, that combat invaders to the body in a variety of ways. Some are capable of neutralizing a virus, while others work by mobilizing a range of other immune cells that fight off disease."

– Mayo Clinic expert answers questions about COVID-19 testing | Mayo Clinic News Network https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-expert-answers-questions-about-covid-19-testing/
"There has been a lot of attention given to COVID-19 testing. Mayo Clinic Laboratories has developed two different kinds of tests: one to determine if someone is actively infected with COVID-19, and another to determine if someone recently had COVID-19 and now has antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus."

Dr Poland explains more in this video

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Also, I'm thinking they really do not have the statistics. I had heard about this random study in Santa Clara and while it is not statistically significant (IMHO), I think it has merits and does give credence to more people having been infected and recovered from COVID-19 than the current statistics show.

Way more people may have gotten coronavirus than we thought, small antibody study suggests
https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-antibodies-widespread-in-santa-clara.html

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My husband had issues in November – then hospitalized for a week in December – it started with a rash on his stomach that grew rapidly – went to ER and the doctor said he has afib so the doctor immediately sent him the the bigger hospital – he says he never felt the 154 beats per minute – didn't see the rash – but he had started that awful dry hacking cough in November – they tested for influenza – nothing – they got his heart back to "normal" and drowned him antibiotics – he never had a fever – did he have the Covid-19 virus? – makes you think – so we need to get him tested so we are offering him up as a test subject to see if he did have it – not sure where to contact the antibody study or research lab

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@bmwvent2020 Welcome to Mayo Connect, an online community that reaches more than 90,000 members with a mission to serve as a connection between patients, caregivers, and family members and the information needed to help them learn about their health issues so that they can make the best decisions for themselves as well as sharing with others. In this case, you are not the only folks who have had this experience. The question becomes, did they or didn't they have the COVID-19 virus? And if they did, can they help with the development of medications for others because their bodies created antibodies.

Mayo Clinic has a news network that releases press information and developed stories about frequently asked questions. Here is the news network response to your question about antibodies.
https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-expert-answers-questions-about-antibody-testing-for-covid-19/
I hope that both of you are feeling well and have recovered enough energy and stamina to be able to ride this out. When you do go for the antibody test will you come back and share the experience with Connect. That will ensure that more folks will be informed and encouraged to participate.

May you be safe and protected.
Chris

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@artscaping

@bmwvent2020 Welcome to Mayo Connect, an online community that reaches more than 90,000 members with a mission to serve as a connection between patients, caregivers, and family members and the information needed to help them learn about their health issues so that they can make the best decisions for themselves as well as sharing with others. In this case, you are not the only folks who have had this experience. The question becomes, did they or didn't they have the COVID-19 virus? And if they did, can they help with the development of medications for others because their bodies created antibodies.

Mayo Clinic has a news network that releases press information and developed stories about frequently asked questions. Here is the news network response to your question about antibodies.
https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-expert-answers-questions-about-antibody-testing-for-covid-19/
I hope that both of you are feeling well and have recovered enough energy and stamina to be able to ride this out. When you do go for the antibody test will you come back and share the experience with Connect. That will ensure that more folks will be informed and encouraged to participate.

May you be safe and protected.
Chris

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Thank you for all the information. With all my autoimmune diseases this is a very scary and uncertain future for Mayo patients who do not live in the Rochester area. I live in the Chicago area and was told the antibody test that are available at a few clinics are not FDA approved and give false negative or false positive results. Do you know where a high risk Mayo Clinic patient who lives in the Chicago area can find a reliable antibody test? Or are they just not widely available for people living in Illinois yet?

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Where are they doing the antibody screening ? We are not sure if we had it or not. I have asthma and I would like to know. My husband came down with chills low grade fever for 2 days mild sore throat and cough. Shortly after he got it I came down with same sy.ptoms in feb. But my asthma got a whole lot worse. Felt like I was having heart attach early march called Dr. They could hear me wheezing over phone. But just gave me prednisone. Our healthcare sucks. All this was over phone. We would like to know if we had it. Shortly after my daughter works in healthcare the would not send her for testing but she had a sy.ptoms also.

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@suerc

Where are they doing the antibody screening ? We are not sure if we had it or not. I have asthma and I would like to know. My husband came down with chills low grade fever for 2 days mild sore throat and cough. Shortly after he got it I came down with same sy.ptoms in feb. But my asthma got a whole lot worse. Felt like I was having heart attach early march called Dr. They could hear me wheezing over phone. But just gave me prednisone. Our healthcare sucks. All this was over phone. We would like to know if we had it. Shortly after my daughter works in healthcare the would not send her for testing but she had a sy.ptoms also.

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@suerc Im so sorry to hear this . Call the health dept. is what I would do since your Dr wasn't any help ..Or call your Mayor in your city . If he is up to all the news I would think he could help you I pray you are all save

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@suerc

Where are they doing the antibody screening ? We are not sure if we had it or not. I have asthma and I would like to know. My husband came down with chills low grade fever for 2 days mild sore throat and cough. Shortly after he got it I came down with same sy.ptoms in feb. But my asthma got a whole lot worse. Felt like I was having heart attach early march called Dr. They could hear me wheezing over phone. But just gave me prednisone. Our healthcare sucks. All this was over phone. We would like to know if we had it. Shortly after my daughter works in healthcare the would not send her for testing but she had a sy.ptoms also.

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Call for ambulance. For both of you- the only way you going to get the right care

Liked by lioness

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@lioness & @bookysue If I read @suerc post correctly, the illness & calls happened back in February, so making the calls you suggest probably aren't going to help at this point.
Sue – you need to call your doctor or the local health department to ask about antibody tests – where and to whom they are available near you.
BUT… please know that not all antibody tests are equal. There are many that have been granted emergency, interim approval that are NOT tested in the proper scientific way to be sure "negative" and "positive" results are accurate. You need to be sure you are getting a test that has been rigorously verified, such as those developed by Mayo, several universities, and a few major US labs. Verifying tests requires that they be administered to known positive samples (as from a previous Covid-19 test) known negatives (from blood samples that existed before Covid-19) and controls (distilled water, samples from people who had the common cold which is another corona virus) and get correct results every time. Many tests being used now, even by some "testing centers" and possibly clinics, are completely unverified – hastily developed and rushed to market, some are imported, a few have even been shown to be bogus – testing nothing. So be sure the tester can tell you, in writing, what test it is and who verified it.
Finally, the verified tests are not yet widely available, so in most places are being prioritized first to medical and first responder personnel, patients in hospitals and care facilities, people who need to know to get back to work. Next is government-sponsored population testing, determining how wide-spread previous infection and probable immunity are so decisions can be made on when & where to open life up again. Those of us who need to know to get back into the world with some peace of mind fall far down the list.
As in all things Covid-19, stay tuned for further developments. Things are changing day by day, sometimes hour by hour. If you are in a hard hit area, testing will likely be available sooner to you than those in remote, somewhat unaffected places.
Stay calm, stay safe, stay patient.
Sue

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@sueinmn

@lioness & @bookysue If I read @suerc post correctly, the illness & calls happened back in February, so making the calls you suggest probably aren't going to help at this point.
Sue – you need to call your doctor or the local health department to ask about antibody tests – where and to whom they are available near you.
BUT… please know that not all antibody tests are equal. There are many that have been granted emergency, interim approval that are NOT tested in the proper scientific way to be sure "negative" and "positive" results are accurate. You need to be sure you are getting a test that has been rigorously verified, such as those developed by Mayo, several universities, and a few major US labs. Verifying tests requires that they be administered to known positive samples (as from a previous Covid-19 test) known negatives (from blood samples that existed before Covid-19) and controls (distilled water, samples from people who had the common cold which is another corona virus) and get correct results every time. Many tests being used now, even by some "testing centers" and possibly clinics, are completely unverified – hastily developed and rushed to market, some are imported, a few have even been shown to be bogus – testing nothing. So be sure the tester can tell you, in writing, what test it is and who verified it.
Finally, the verified tests are not yet widely available, so in most places are being prioritized first to medical and first responder personnel, patients in hospitals and care facilities, people who need to know to get back to work. Next is government-sponsored population testing, determining how wide-spread previous infection and probable immunity are so decisions can be made on when & where to open life up again. Those of us who need to know to get back into the world with some peace of mind fall far down the list.
As in all things Covid-19, stay tuned for further developments. Things are changing day by day, sometimes hour by hour. If you are in a hard hit area, testing will likely be available sooner to you than those in remote, somewhat unaffected places.
Stay calm, stay safe, stay patient.
Sue

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If folks have coughs, breathing issues even if you know you have allergy, call primary care – if no answer – go to er. Better safe than sorry.

Liked by lioness

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@sueinmn

@lioness & @bookysue If I read @suerc post correctly, the illness & calls happened back in February, so making the calls you suggest probably aren't going to help at this point.
Sue – you need to call your doctor or the local health department to ask about antibody tests – where and to whom they are available near you.
BUT… please know that not all antibody tests are equal. There are many that have been granted emergency, interim approval that are NOT tested in the proper scientific way to be sure "negative" and "positive" results are accurate. You need to be sure you are getting a test that has been rigorously verified, such as those developed by Mayo, several universities, and a few major US labs. Verifying tests requires that they be administered to known positive samples (as from a previous Covid-19 test) known negatives (from blood samples that existed before Covid-19) and controls (distilled water, samples from people who had the common cold which is another corona virus) and get correct results every time. Many tests being used now, even by some "testing centers" and possibly clinics, are completely unverified – hastily developed and rushed to market, some are imported, a few have even been shown to be bogus – testing nothing. So be sure the tester can tell you, in writing, what test it is and who verified it.
Finally, the verified tests are not yet widely available, so in most places are being prioritized first to medical and first responder personnel, patients in hospitals and care facilities, people who need to know to get back to work. Next is government-sponsored population testing, determining how wide-spread previous infection and probable immunity are so decisions can be made on when & where to open life up again. Those of us who need to know to get back into the world with some peace of mind fall far down the list.
As in all things Covid-19, stay tuned for further developments. Things are changing day by day, sometimes hour by hour. If you are in a hard hit area, testing will likely be available sooner to you than those in remote, somewhat unaffected places.
Stay calm, stay safe, stay patient.
Sue

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@sueinmn Didn't this start in out country in Feb? I brushed over that . sorry . I,ll refer to you if I see anymore . Thanks

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My friend was extremely ill in late January – February. Extreme coughing, fatigue, headaches etc. He never went to the doctor….just isolated himself and tried to work ( not around other people). We just passed it off as the regular flu but now are having second thoughts after learning about Covid. Does he stand a chance of getting an antibody test?

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@basslakebabe19

My friend was extremely ill in late January – February. Extreme coughing, fatigue, headaches etc. He never went to the doctor….just isolated himself and tried to work ( not around other people). We just passed it off as the regular flu but now are having second thoughts after learning about Covid. Does he stand a chance of getting an antibody test?

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@basslakebabe19, I moved your post about antibody testing to this existing discussion so that you can see what others have been writing about COVID testing. I encourage you to read through the past posts and the videos people have shared, especially this post from @sueinmn https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/covid-19-antibody-tests/?pg=1#comment-390243

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