What are coronavirus serological tests and what they are for

What are coronavirus serological tests and what they are for

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

With the coronavirus, from China to "getting closer" and more and more cumbersome in the news and also in daily life, words that we may never have heard before have become frequently used if we are not doctors and do not work in the healthcare sector. Already the difference between Covid 19 and Coronavirus is not so immediate, and the two terms above use interchangeably, but this is another story. Today we want to understand better what are in serology tests for coronavirus we hear so much about and what they are for. If they are needed (but we will find that the answer is yes).

Without wanting to replace those who will use it, we try to understand in practice what it is and what use if you want to make it in the coming weeks to try to manage the risk of contagion and the famous phase 2 that we all look forward to even if we do not yet know what characteristics it will have.

What are serological tests for coronavirus for?

These are tests that are carried out on blood and that some experts would like to do and are already doing in part to better understand what size Italy has the contagion, also entering into the merits of the numbers and percentages for the various Regions, given that there seem to be very different situations. Unlike other viral diseases, the one triggered by the coronavirus it is not easy to evaluate because it can give very different and sometimes not even perceptible effects. Day after day, even those who do not follow the question slavishly will certainly have understood that this virus affects even very different intensities by dividing the infected into different categories.

There are asymptomatic, difficult to find and recognize, and i paucisymptomatic, with very few symptoms and therefore do not even resort to hospitalization, and then there are those who end up in resuscitation, in serious condition. Due to this variety of signals, the need arises not to rely only on perceived symptoms but to investigate more precisely what is the real percentage of people who have contracted the virus. For this they take place seroprevalence investigations through serological tests, that is, on the blood.

It's not over. Once we have these percentages, national and regional, in hand, we can go on to do many studies which then provide important data for those who have to make high-level decisions, which impact everyone else, in a chain. Know for example the rate of lethality based on the geographical area, or based on age groups or gender distribution, it is a valuable result that would also help us stop the spread of fake news. In fact, from the beginning, many have been shot and today without numbers it is difficult to deny them. Understanding how the virus behaves is necessary for the present but also for the future, to know how much, when and how to loosen the restrictive measures, the many prohibitions to which we are all subjected today, all over the world, throughout Italy.

What are serological tests for coronavirus

Now that we understand why this exam is needed, let's see what it consists of. A blood sample is needed but cannot be carried out today and all. It is therefore necessary to reach a compromise and accept to make an estimate, going to test only one group of citizens, only a sample of the population, to derive a percentage of infected, thanks to those statistical tools made available to researchers in these situations as in others.

You need to have the size of the contagion, and this is one way of doing it

To perform these tests, you do not need swabs that are usually used to identify current positives for the virus but blood tests. Through them we discover what happened in the past, if there was the contagion, even if maybe nobody noticed it because we are dealing with a asymptomatic subject.

So let's imagine the classic blood tests, the ones we all do when we go for a sample. In some cases it is even enough a single drop of blood, just like blood glucose measurement in diabetic patients. The result of the test tells us if a certain person in his life has come into contact with the new coronavirus and has remained infected, beyond the drama of the symptoms he then detected.

What serological tests tell us

Another very interesting information that we can obtain from these tests concerns the possibility of developing immunity, thus having specific antibodies for Sars-CoV-2. Technically speaking, the test probes for the presence of IgM and IgG antibodies to Sars-CoV-2. The first appear immediately but remain for a short time, a couple of weeks, so if they are detected during the test, it means that there has been an infection and also quite recently. The others immunoglobulins, IgG, have other rhythms. They arrive late and remain even for several months, so if they are detected during serological tests, it means that there has been infection but a long time before, not recently.

The Ministry of Health officially explains that the elimination of the virus "Usually it is accompanied by the appearance of specific IgG antibodies for Sars-CoV-2 produced by the body".

Serological tests in Italy

From region to region we find different situations, some are already carrying out these tests while others are organizing and should leave in the coming weeks. Everything is in fast but continuous evolution it is difficult to describe it so without fear that it will change soon after.

We are in fact in experimentation phase, we try to study the validity of these tests and the real effectiveness by first testing the people who have had the virus to understand what the blood test gives, then the lower risk groups to go to work on the statistical part of the test and derive regional and national estimates.

Another step would then be that of also evaluate the quantity of antibodies to understand if, once you have had the virus, you are protected. Let's not take it for granted because it could happen that when the positivity is mild, the subject does not then become immune, it is an aspect still to be investigated and this makes us better understand the complexities of medical studies from which today we expect certainties, difficult when it comes to Research.

Video: Serology Tests for COVID-19 (May 2022).