Abbott launches its third COVID-19 antibody test

With coronavirus infections reaching over two million in the last month, doctors and medical specialists anxiously attend to thousands of infected patients, saving lives on a daily basis. A common concern relies on containing further spread and attacking the virus early on. With new antibody tests launched by medical devices group Abbott, battling the disease will quicken, and an understanding of the body's defense mechanisms will aid in prevention.

courtesy of Business Insider

With coronavirus infections reaching over two million in the last month, doctors and medical specialists anxiously attend to thousands of infected patients, saving lives on a daily basis. A common concern relies on containing further spread and attacking the virus early on. With new antibody tests launched by medical devices group Abbott, battling the disease will quicken, and an understanding of the body's defense mechanisms will aid in prevention.

Hannah Luck, Staff

Abbott, an American medical device company, launched its third version of a COVID-19 antibody test on April 15. The test, which allows doctors to examine patients’ possible exposure and immunity to the virus, will aid in the battle, saving lives and preventing further spread.

Abbott’s test uses groundbreaking medical technology to detect IgG antibody to SARs-CoV-2, a virus widespread in 2003. Antibodies, a protein the body produced in late stages of infection, can exist for up to years after recovery. Although COVID-19 symptoms take up to 14 days to appear, the body still produces these antibodies to fight the infection, a detail essential in determining whether or not a patient should remain under medical care. With the use of this medical technology, scientists will better understand the span of time in which antibodies may exist, possible immunity and gain support in finding an effective vaccine.

To help patients around the country, Abbott plans on making the test available to the U.S Food and Drug Administration’s public notifications, as well as partnering with CE Mark, an organization dedicated to health and wellness in Europe. Abbott plans to increase the manufacturing of the antibody test and expects to ship around one million tests to U.S. citizens within the next week and four million within the month of April.  

“Antibody testing would hopefully be able to first, identify individuals who may be infected or exposed to the virus and second, analyze what effect the virus has on an infected person’s antibodies and figure out how to replicate them,” NC sophomore Sam Yaruobrough said.

Abbott’s efforts in providing a safe, effective antibody test will invoke a number of benefits in battling the deadly coronavirus. This includes providing an assessment of whether not a patient tests positive for the virus, possible antibodies built-in fighting the disease, exposure and aid in creating a vaccine. The test opens the door to discovering unknown facets of the virus while saving lives. The only way to protect and prevent further spread will rely on battling the virus with knowledge, preparation and diligence.