Antibody test could eventually be a game-changer, local doctor says
A test that could effectively show whether a person has ever been infected with the new coronavirus would be represent a major development in the response to COVID-19, but although some are now in use, none has been shown to be 100 percent accurate.
Dr. Jeremy Gabrysch, an emergency room physician and founder of Remedy urgent care services, says once the antibody tests are perfected, they'll play a huge role in the fight against the virus.
"The tests are going to need to get a little bit better than they are now to be a real game-changer," says Gabrysch.
"I do think it's going to be very soon and we have already seen some tests showing signs that they might be 100% specific," he says.
"When you do the antibody test you are looking for evidence for if the body has produced an immune response to the infection," he said.
"Right now we don't know what kind of immunity the antibody test confirms," he said.
And so far, experts don’t know whether someone who has had the virus could get int again.
A number of tests are on the market, but they’re not U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved, and they could yield false results.
Doctors like Dr. Jackson Griggs from the Waco Family Health Center says because these tests aren't approved, it can lead to false information.
"The antibody test has some positives that are not true positives, false positives," Waco Family Health Center CEO Dr. Jackson Griggs said.
"Right now we aren't using it and it doesn't have much of a role at all in what we are trying to accomplish," he said.