A Belgian biotechnology company has begun testing to quickly detect antibodies against coronavirus infections. This is an effort by some countries to determine who may be immune.
Liege-based company ZenTech told AFP on Tuesday that it began tens of thousands of government certification tests and plans to increase production to eventually reach 3 million a month.
Founder and CEO Jean-Claude Havaux stated that the diagnosis takes only 10-15 minutes, "sensitivity is 100
He emphasized that the test kit is only suitable for medical professionals, first in Belgium, then It is in other EU countries and other regions. They are not intended for public use at home.
"We do not want or want to use these tests for anyone. This is not a pregnancy test, "Havaux said.
" It is indeed very complicated to conduct and interpret the results.
Antibody or serological tests are considered to be a critical tool to determine who has COVID-. 19 – especially asymptomatic carriers – so may not be affected by them for at least a period of time.
Such tests May pave the way for countries that allow people to return to work because they are relaxing loose blockade measures.
This is especially important for frontline medical staff with a new coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, laboratories in some countries A large number of reliable test kits are being launched to compete.
But the World Health Organization has warned that although it is worth receiving a reliable test, the presence of the COVID-19 antibody does not prove that the individual is immune.
It says that even if there is immunity , And it wo n’t last long.
Dr. Pascale Whini Christina, head of the Department of Microbiology at Liege University Hospital also confirmed this.
"No one knows whether (COVID-19) antibodies are protective, "She said.
She added that scientists also don't know how long the immunity can last, or whether the new coronavirus It will mutate near any initial immunization like flu.
"This is a virus we do n’t know much about," she said.
ZenTech ’s test only showed whether the patient was "contacted" with COVID-19, the result was Positive or negative. It does not show the level of antibody response.
However, it itself is useful for determining the spread of the virus in the population and for patients who have not received a nasal swab test to detect whether the person is infected.  © 2020 AFP