Sunday, September 26

Health advises against rapid antibody tests as they are less reliable


The tests have begun to be sold this week in pharmacy offices.

The tests have begun to be sold this week in pharmacy offices.

The Ministry of Health warned yesterday that the rapid antibody detection tests from a blood sample obtained by a finger prick “They have a lower yield than the techniques that are performed in laboratories from a blood sample taken from a vein.” These tests have begun to be marketed for the first time in pharmacies after their approval by the European Union and they have raised a lot of expectation among the population.

False positives and negatives

The conselleria, however, advises against these tests being used by the population as a method of self-diagnosis of the covid. “The self-diagnostic tests can be done outside the laboratory but, experts warn, there is a greater risk of giving false positives and false negatives,” they said yesterday from Ana Barceló’s department.

The tests are sold in pharmacies after approval by the EU and at a price ranging between 25 and 28 euros

These antibody tests that are sold in pharmacies report the presence of defenses in the body against some of the components of SARS-CoV-2, which suggests that the patient has had previous contact with the virus. “Its positivity does not guarantee immunity, so protection measures must continue to be complied with,” they clarify from Health. In this sense, the Ministry believes that these tests are only advisable “for certain studies, and always for research purposes.”

For this reason, the Minister of Health, Ana Barceló, asked yesterday for caution in the use and interpretation of these rapid antibody detection tests.

The Consell does not contemplate the recording of the results of these tests nor will it include them in its tracking strategy

“The only thing that can prove the antibody self-diagnosis test is whether the person has passed the disease or not,” indicates the head of Health, who abounds in that rapid detection tests for covid antibodies “are in no case considered adequate for the diagnosis of active infection, neither in symptomatic nor in asymptomatic patients ”.

In this sense, the Ministry of Health does not contemplate the systematic recording of the results of these tests, nor does it include them in its strategy for tracking and controlling cases.

The tests are sold from this week in pharmacies at a price that ranges between 25 and 28 euros. The results are obtained in 10 minutes and indicate whether there is the presence of IgM antibodies -which indicate a recent infection but not necessarily active- or Ig, which indicate that the infection has already been overcome. In order to buy these tests, a doctor’s prescription is necessary. The tests are 90% effective and the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) has given the go-ahead for their commercialization, in view of the fact that they have the European seal.


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