One To Look Out For: Rapid Testing Changes the Way We Approach COVID-19
Rapid 15-minute testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is a game-changing technology being implemented to keep businesses, schools, public events, and medical facilities operating safely. United and Lufthansa announced that they are providing 15-minute rapid antigen test kits to passengers before flights. Rapid testing was recently credited with saving Pac-12 football when a partnership with Quidel to provide daily testing to all players allowed the season to proceed. While many of the companies producing rapid tests are biotech giants, there are exciting startups also developing rapid tests that utilize similar technology.
Based in New York, Freedom For All Diagnostics is a manufacturer and distributor of rapid test kits used for detecting both active and prior SARS-CoV-2 infections. Their pipeline of rapid test assays is designed to be easy to use, accurate, and require no costly equipment to run.
Freedom For All Diagnostics currently has three COVID-19 tests in various stages of development: rapid antibody, rapid antigen, and rapid spit-cup tests. Using clinically-proven and well-established chromatographic immunoassay technology, the antibody test kit provides accurate and rapid results showing whether someone has had a previous infection with SARS-CoV-2.
The rapid antigen test kit detects if an individual has an active SARS-CoV-2 infection in minutes. This fantastic technology shows the results directly on the testing device so that coronavirus-positive individuals know they are infected before leaving the testing site. Finally, the rapid spit-cup test is being designed to provide the advantages of the rapid antigen test, while only requiring the patient to spit into a collection cup.
Most of the tests now being used for diagnosing active infections require the patient to wait at home for up to 72 hours before knowing whether they are infectious. Waiting for results is dangerous as it prevents accurate contact-tracing. The current consensus is that test results taking more than 24 hours make contact tracing nearly pointless. Freedom For All Diagnostics’ rapid, on-site results allow contact tracers to notify all potentially infected close contacts quickly.
Freedom For All Diagnostics’ SARS-CoV-2 IgM/IgG Antibody Assay Kit is a rapid chromatographic immunoassay intended for use in the qualitative detection of IgM and IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in human serum, plasma, or whole blood as an aid in the diagnosis of primary and secondary SARS-CoV-2 infections, as well as in identifying individuals with an adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2, indicating recent or prior infection.
According to a recent study* on the detection of IgM and IgG antibodies in patients with 2019 novel coronavirus, antibody testing played a critical role in scientists’ potential understanding of certain aspects of COVID-19. This study specifically investigated the aforementioned IgM and IgG antibodies, immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G, and found that IgM and IgG antibodies may play an imperative role in predicting the severity and prognosis of a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The study aimed to “determine the IgM and IgG responses against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2 in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with varying illness severities.” The IgM and IgG antibody levels were assessed via chemiluminescence immunoassay in 338 COVID-19 patients.
This study showed that “IgM levels increased during the first week after SARS-CoV-2 infection, peaked 2 weeks and then reduced to near-background levels in most patients.” They also found that “IgG was detectable after 1 week and was maintained at a high level for a long period.” Moreover, “the positive rates of IgM and/or IgG antibody detections were not significantly different among the mild, severe and critical disease groups.” Additionally, “severe and critical cases had higher IgM levels than mild cases, whereas the IgG level in critical cases was lower than those in both mild and severe cases.”
That said, testing for antibodies is crucial as it could “provide information on the time course of virus infection.” Furthermore, quantitative IgM and IgG assays could be very helpful “in the diagnosis and prognosis of COVID-19,” as well as “evaluating the severity” of the disease.
Freedom For All Diagnostics’ rapid antigen test detects small pieces of proteins that make up the virus and is considered a diagnostic test for detecting an active infection with the virus. This test utilizes a nasal swab for collection, and within 15 minutes, the test strip will show the presence of an active infection. This type of testing technology is critical for screening people before they gather with others for any reason, including business, travel, school, hospital visits, sporting activities, and religious services. Freedom For All Diagnostics believes that this technology will enable people to safely begin returning to pre-coronavirus activities.
Freedom For All Diagnostics’ ability to offer rapid test kits for both active and previous infections will significantly contribute to the fight in understanding and combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The scientific community has recognized the need for rapidly detecting active cases and identifying previous infections in the population. Due to the high rate of asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic individuals spreading the virus, a combination of both types of tests is needed to evaluate both current and previous infection levels in the population as a whole.
For more details, visit: @freedomforalldiagnostics – freedomtestkit.com
Writer: Joshua Stabach