Coronavirus test” is the leader of inquiries in 2020, which has successfully moved with us into 2021. The test is needed by people with symptoms, the test is needed by people with suspected symptoms, when traveling abroad, when meeting with older relatives. And although everyone has heard of the PCR test, it is actually necessary only at the beginning of the disease. Let’s talk about the IFA test, its features and decoding methods.
ELISA test – what is it?
Enzyme immunoassay for coronavirus, also known as ELISA test, demonstrates the presence of coronavirus infection in the body, as well as the body’s immune response. To do this, laboratory workers study two types of immunoglobulins – IgM and IgG. The first immune reaction of the body triggers the production of IgM, a little later IgG appears in the blood. They are the “litmus test” that unmistakably indicates that a person is really sick – or already sick – with SARS-CoV-2.
List of indications for ELISA test for coronavirus
The first and main indication is the suspicion of the presence of a coronavirus infection. However, there are a number of “accompanying” indications:
- Clarification of the diagnosis in the presence of respiratory symptoms – or a false-negative PCR test result;
- The need for hospitalization – for the purpose of surgical intervention or inpatient treatment;
- Assessment of the body’s immune response: during repeated testing, as well as after recovery.
How to prepare for the ELISA test for SARS-CoV-2?
Preparation for the ELISA test starts a day before the procedure. Patients are recommended:
- Refuse to take antiviral and antimicrobial drugs (but for this you need to talk to your family doctor beforehand);
Do not overload yourself with physical work;
- Refrain from taking alcohol and alcohol-containing medicines;
- Avoid open sun rays;
- Refrain from eating 6-8 hours before the test
How does the ELISA test work?
In contrast to the PCR test, the material for which is taken using a scraping from the nasopharynx, the ELISA test involves the collection of venous blood. Early in the morning, on an empty stomach, the patient comes to the clinic – where a specialist takes blood from the elbow vein. 10-20 milliliters is enough for the test.
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How to decipher the results of the ELISA test?
One of the main indicators of the ELISA test is the level of IgM and IgG immunoglobulins, which are used to determine the immune status of patients, as well as the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. We tell you how to read the analysis results:
- IgM <1, IgG <10 – antibodies are absent, the patient is recommended to self-isolate;
- IgM from 1 to 2, IgG <10 – a questionable result, the disease may be asymptomatic, the patient is recommended to self-isolate for a week and after its completion, repeat the ELISA test; IgM > 2, IgG <10 – the patient is infected and poses a threat to others. Recommended self-isolation under the supervision of a family doctor; IgM> 2, IgG> 10 – the patient has antibodies, but the disease may be latent. It is necessary to self-isolate and pass the ELISA test again in a week;
- IgM <2, IgG> 10 – antibodies to the virus are detected, the patient can be considered to have contracted the coronavirus; does not pose a threat to others.
Who DOESN’T need to undergo an ELISA test for COVID-19?
After encountering a coronavirus infection, our body produces the maximum amount of antibodies 14 days after infection. If you believe that less than 7 days have passed since infection, there is no point in doing an ELISA test – the body has not yet accumulated enough immunoglobulins, and therefore the result may be false-negative. A PCR test is indicated for such patients.
Who prescribes a referral for an ELISA test for coronavirus?
Like most other medical tests, the ELISA test should be done after consultation with a family doctor. Referrals to the test can also be given by specialized specialists who observe the following symptoms in the patient for several weeks:
- Cough, sore throat and other respiratory symptoms;
- Increase in body temperature;
- Muscle weakness;
- General weakness, rapid fatigue;
- Loss of taste and smell;
- Digestive disorders;
Advantages of the ELISA test?
- High test accuracy;
- Democratic price (IFA test is 2-3 times cheaper than PCR test);
- Prompt issuance of results;
- Minimum preparatory stage;
- The test can be done at home;
- Demonstrates not only the fact of infection, but also the dynamics of recovery.