BioIQ, a healthcare engagement and clinical adherence technology platform company, announces the addition of antibody testing to the company’s innovative COVID-19 population health solutions, including saliva RT-PCR diagnostic testing, for health plans, employers and government agencies. The recently added enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test is the preferred standard in antibody testing and uses a blood or serum sample to determine whether an immunoglobulin (IgG/IgM) antibody is present in the test subject.
As US health officials and employers endeavor to develop a strategy to reignite the economy and bring employees back to work, antibody testing is expected to play a critical role in verifying COVID-19 immunity in workers. Antibody testing may ultimately be used to issue “immunity certificates” to employees who would then be deemed safe to return to work, similar to methods being initiated in some European countries. The potential work re-entry plan is still in the exploratory phase as researchers continue to learn more about the body’s immunological response to the virus. If COVID-19 is like other coronaviruses, immunity could last for one to several years.
Identification and establishment of COVID-19 immunity could also enable people to participate in convalescent plasma therapy. The therapy involves sharing antibody-rich plasma from recovered patients with those who lack antibodies, a research area showing promise in the treatment of the disease.
Early focus globally and across the BioIQ network has been on reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for COVID-19 diagnosis and expanding that testing capacity through broader sample collection methodologies, including being one of the first to introduce saliva sample collection. BioIQ will continue to innovate in COVID-19 diagnosis testing but many Americans are now beyond the detection period for RT-PCR testing, which typically lasts about ten days from first symptoms, and need help understanding their exposure and potential immunity.
ELISA-based quantitative testing for antibodies typically yields greater accuracy than point of care tests (POCT) for antibody detection, both of which are preferred to lower-accuracy, qualitative rapid antibody test strips, which provide results from a drop of blood in as little as five minutes.
“All antibody tests have a use, but we wanted to start with the most trusted option for accuracy,” said BioIQ CEO Justin Bellante. “As we help advance testing for COVID-19, our platform fulfills a variety of use cases from first diagnosis via RT-PCR, to understanding immunity with antibody testing and everything in between. The guidance from our Public Health Advisory Board is helping us put these tools to work for health care workers, critical infrastructure personnel and the most vulnerable populations.”