More Chinese cities have launched antibody testing services to the public, according to media reports.
The antibody testing results can help diagnose COVID-19 infection and offer support for COVID vaccination plans.
Shenzhen Luohu Hospital Group’s medical laboratory center released a notice on its WeChat account Jan. 12 that the hospital’s medical laboratory has launched its COVID antibody testing program including IgM/IgG tests.
Shenzhen Luohu Hospital. File photo
A test costs 32.6 yuan (US$4.8), according to the center. The samples are required to be collected before 10 a.m. every day and a report would come out at 5 p.m. the same day.
Those who want a COVID antibody test can make an appointment and find a respiratory specialist to interpret the results after getting the report, according to the Luohu District People’s Hospital.
A COVID antibody test is a blood test that can tell if one previously had COVID and has since recovered.
The test is clinically important because it helps diagnose COVID infection, as per the article released by Shenzhen Luohu Hospital Group’s medical laboratory center.
A positive IgM antibody test result indicates the possibility of a recent COVID infection, while an increased level of IgG may indicate previous infection or recovery from an infection.
In another development, Central China’s Hunan Province will roll out antibody testing services to the public starting from today, becoming the latest region in the country to conduct such testing after other major cities such as Beijing and Wuhan.
According to a notice issued by the Hunan Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, antibody tests can help to scientifically evaluate the immunity status following COVID recovery and resistance against secondary infection.
It is worth noting that COVID antibody test results cannot indicate whether one is already immune to the novel coronavirus.
Chen Guolin, an infectious disease specialist at the First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, told Health Times (Jiankang Shibao) in a recent interview that IgM/IgG antibody tests cannot fully represent the actual levels of neutralizing antibodies in the body and that personal protective measures are still important.