Serological Tests Introduced to ascertain Recent Exposure to Novel Coronavirus


In a new development, in the fight against COVID-19, clinical laboratory scientists and physicians at University of California San Diego Health have introduced a pair of serological tests. These tests will look for novel coronavirus antibodies as an evidence in persons tested who have previously been infected by SARS-CoV-2, even if there were no tell-tale symptoms.

The Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine at UC San Diego that houses most of UC San Diego’s Health Clinical laboratories will oversee the effort. The center also oversees related research activities, and is also the health system’s center for the in-house PCR-based diagnostic testing of patients, as well as testing individuals suspected of having COVID-19.

The tests is next part of testing, said one of the seniors at few clinical laboratories, health centers within UC San Diego. The tests are intended for questions such as who has been infected, and for answers who might still be at risk of exposure.

Test Involves Detection of Two types of Antibodies for Physician’s Confidence

Meanwhile, the apparatus for the test is based on two assays built by Diazyme Laboratories Inc. – a unit of General Atomics in Poway, California. The test involves analyzing blood samples, similar to what is done for routine clinical reasons. This is to detect presence of two of the five classes of antibodies present in the human body: IgM and IgG.

Physiologically, antibodies are proteins that the immune system uses to identify and help fight pathogenic invaders, such as bacteria and viruses. The antibody IgG is most abundantly present in the body; IgM is one of the first types of antibody produced by the immune system of the body to fight a new infection.

For investigation part, the physician looks for these two types of antibodies together, not one. This increases the physician’s confidence to differentiate between a recent infection, or if there was a SARS-CoV-2 virus infection in the past.

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