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[LISTEN] Covid-19 antibody test given thumbs up by health officials in England

14 May 2020 5:14 PM
Tags:
infection
virus
Covid 19
covid-19 test
antibody test

John Maytham asks Prof Wolfgang Preiser at Stellenbosch University whether similar tests are being developed in South Africa.

A test that can absolutely determine whether a person has been infected with Covid-19 has been approved by public health officials in England.

Roche's serology test is designed to determine if a patient has had the virus and whether they have developed antibodies against it.

But just how far are we from a similar test in South Africa?

Prof Wolfgang Preiser from the faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University says several are in the pipeline.

In South Africa the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) is looking at a large number of such tests that have been submitted for approval.

Prof Wolfgang Preiser, Professor and Head at Division of Medical Virology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences - Stellenbosch University

We are fast moving towards a stage when we will have some of these tests we can use in the lab that will supplement our current diagnostic tests for Covid.

Prof Wolfgang Preiser, Professor and Head at Division of Medical Virology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences - Stellenbosch University

Preiser says it's important to distinguish between the test for a current case of the virus and an antibody test.

The antibody is something that forms in response to such an infection...but it takes a little while to happen, so we will only be able to find these antibodies in the case of Covid starting in the second week that someone has become infected.

Prof Wolfgang Preiser, Professor and Head at Division of Medical Virology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences - Stellenbosch University

Listen to the full conversation below:


14 May 2020 5:14 PM
Tags:
infection
virus
Covid 19
covid-19 test
antibody test

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