Antibody testing can play a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 by helping healthcare professionals to identify individuals who have overcome an infection in the past and have developed an immune response. Antibody testing will definitely add to our knowledge of how much of our population, with few or no symptoms, has been exposed to COVID-19 when it becomes widely available. It will aid the surveillance efforts put in place after dealing with this initial outbreak.
- In the future, this may potentially be used to help determine, together with other clinical data, that such individuals are no longer susceptible to infection and can return to work.
- In addition, these test results can aid in determining who may donate a part of their blood called convalescent plasma, which may serve as a possible treatment for those who are seriously ill from COVID-19. In prior viral outbreaks like measles, polio, mumps and influenza, the FDA approved convalescent plasma transfusion as a therapeutic treatment. Individuals with high levels of antibodies could donate plasma for transfusions to treat gravely ill patients.