There is a new antibody test that will change the landscape of Covid-19 testing as we know it. 

There are now two ways to test for Covid-19: one that measures the actual virus, and one that measures the body’s reaction to the virus.

The first is a genome test that detects the presence of viral genes in the body using a swabbed sample, usually taken from the nose and throat. The sample must then be sent to a lab where it can be replicated and analyzed in a PCR machine. Results could take anywhere from one day to a week and a half to deliver. Point-of-care genome tests have also been developed that can potentially shorten this waiting period to mere minutes. 

The second, which only recently has received FDA approval in the United States, is an antibody test, or serology test, that detects the presence of SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies in the blood. Instead of a nasopharyngeal swab, results are obtained using a finger prick blood test. Like the point of care genome tests, antibody tests are a rapid diagnostic that will give users a verdict within minutes.

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Originally posted on Forbes (April 6, 2020)