Gransnet forums


Antibody testing

(31 Posts)
Davidhs Wed 29-Apr-20 09:37:21

My grandsons girlfriend from college has just had a positive antibody test, her mum is a nurse. At the end of January she was very ill at college, all the C19 symptoms, did not get tested of course, 10 days later grandson was ill. He came home for the weekend and gave it to me, mid February by then. I had a serious cough and chest pains for a week, other family members also had various symptoms, mostly mild or none.

So it started at college, most likely introduced by a fellow student who had been to an Italian ski resort in the New Year, so we can be pretty sure it was circulating in northern Italy over Christmas.

So assuming the Antibody Test is accurate it confirms my own suspicion that we all have been infected here.

NanaPlenty Wed 29-Apr-20 09:49:34

I really really hope an antibody test is available soon. End of February my granddaughter had a dreadful cough that went on and on. Then both she and I developed exactly the same and very odd flu like symptoms. A week later I woke in the night with dreadful pain in my ribs and had to have an ambulance - I struggled with my asthma......nothing more came of it but I really wonder if we had it. If we knew personally I wouldn’t feel quite so frightened going forward . It would be great to know if there is indeed some herd immunity now.

varian Wed 29-Apr-20 14:45:27

I don't think there will be effective herd immunity unless about 95% of the population have immunity.

We will not be safe until be get a vaccine.

It is worrying that some people seem to have developed Covid19 more than once. Ultimately the entire population may need to be tested weekly and for that we need home testing sets, like pregnancy tests.

GagaJo Wed 29-Apr-20 15:02:59

There is a guy in China (read the article well over a week ago, not much hope of finding it again) who has been testing positive for it for over 90 days. He's in quarantine until he tests negative 3 times. He broke down after his last positive test, said he couldn't take it anymore.

May7 Wed 29-Apr-20 15:04:14

Seems likely Davidh glad you've all come through it. Lots of nasty stuff going around in Dec Jan that was unexplained in my family too. Regardless without an antibody test were staying in

EllanVannin Wed 29-Apr-20 15:20:04

I would definitely want to know if this is what I had at the end of December into all of January until mid-February then felt like a wet rag until March.

What I had was completely alien to me as at the end of December coming back from the local shop my legs went like lead and I was scared I wouldn't get back home, and literally struggled to get to my front door. From then onwards it was Hell and that's all I can describe it as.

I hadn't known what had ailed me except that I thought my whole body was packing in. Then the gasping for breath and chest heaviness as though an elephant was sitting on me.

I've had only one chest infection in my life, but this was different in that I was also struggling to walk too.
I didn't phone the GP or for an ambulance because I'd already been in hospital a week before Christmas with A/F and felt ashamed if they saw me again.

However after two months I built myself back up and here I am, but spent a couple of nights gasping for air from my bedroom window and fanning myself with a Spanish fan.grin I thought I was a goner being a smoker too and was telling myself " it serves you right ".

I obviously picked up the bug from hospital where people were coughing and spluttering in the resus area, 2 patients were Indian ladies.

BlueBelle Wed 29-Apr-20 15:40:47

According to the Independent today there is an antibody test 99% accurate that has been developed in Maidenhead and will be distributed throughout Europe (I hope we still count as European) end of May I’ll try and find the link

BlueBelle Wed 29-Apr-20 15:41:53

GrannyLaine Wed 29-Apr-20 15:59:24

Davidhs I was under the impression that antibody tests haven't been rolled out yet as they are not accurate. The antigen tests that are being used at the moment are for those who currently have symptoms of Covid19. Did your grandson's girlfriend have a private test?

notanan2 Wed 29-Apr-20 16:02:25

An accurate antibody test can still give a negative to someone who has had CV.

notanan2 Wed 29-Apr-20 16:04:09

It would only accurately tell you if you currently have the antibody.

It doesnt tell you if you have had it but have no antibodies.

A possitive also doesnt tell you whether you are immune. You can have antibodies this week but not next week.

notanan2 Wed 29-Apr-20 16:06:35

Its pointless doing antibody testing before we have learnt more about CV19 immunity.

Some virus immunities only last weeks.
Some virus immunities last years for some people and doesnt last at all for most others.
Other virus antibodies give most people a good chance of longish term immunity

Its meaningless information at the moment

MaizieD Wed 29-Apr-20 16:08:28

What is the significance of the 'Indian ladies', Ellan?

There was something not very pleasant going around in, as I recall, late November, early December which left one feeling wiped out for a day or so and with a persistent cough, my partner and I got it from our grandson, as did my daughter, but it would be daft to speculate.

GrannyLaine Wed 29-Apr-20 16:10:45

notanan2 I think you are confusing the two different tests. The medical experts on the daily briefing have consistently told us that they have not yet sourced an acceptably reliable antibody test. The testing that is currently being done is the antigen test

notanan2 Wed 29-Apr-20 16:19:11

The test is irrelevant if the result gives no useful information.

If you are positive it means nothing in practical terms right now. It doesnt mean you can no longer get CV. If you are shielding you still have to shield etc

GrannyLaine Wed 29-Apr-20 17:11:29

Its not clear whether all of your 4 posts are referring just to antibody testing or to antigen testing Notanan

(1)The antigen test is most certainly NOT irrelevant.
(2)There is currently NO accurate antibody test being used on any scale by the NHS

notanan2 Wed 29-Apr-20 17:19:15

Antibodies and antigens arent two different things theyre cogs in the same process.

Immunity means you have those cogs in place to kick into action next time youre exposed to that pathogen.

It is not a case of once immune always immune though.

Immunity can last just weeks or months or years

We do not yet know how many people retain immunity to CV19 or how long it usually lasts.

So being told you have immunity today gives you no usable informatiom whatsoever.

What would you do differently if you got a positive?
It doesnt mean you wont catch CV19 again or indeed if you do if you'll get it more severely or milder.
We just do not know how immunity to this one plays out yet

rosecarmel Wed 29-Apr-20 17:26:30

In the US anyone can now get that test at Quest for about $119.00-

GrannyLaine Wed 29-Apr-20 17:44:43

No one is being told they have immunity Notanan as no one yet knows how this virus is going to behave. The coronaviruses generally tend to have short term immunity.
The antigen test is what is being used to tell whether, for example, someone has had the virus thus whether key workers are okay to return to work or whether they need to isolate.
Not irrelevant, as you claim

notanan2 Wed 29-Apr-20 17:49:38

This thread is about antibody testing which gives the currently useless information that you have previously had CV19 (& can give you a negative even if you did)

Not the swabs that tell you you have a current flair up of an active infection. That is not what this thread is about.

GrannyLaine Wed 29-Apr-20 18:03:34

Notanan, I have neither the time nor the crayons to explain to you any further.
My original question was to Davidhs before you jumped in.

notanan2 Wed 29-Apr-20 18:16:01

Your patronising tone is ironic given your lack of comprehension:

The OP stated it was an antibody test.
If the girl had her symptoms in january after exposure to someone who was at a hot spot ski resort, they wouldnt still be positive for a throat swab unless either reinfected or never initially infected.

The throat swab doesnt test if you had it

You CAN get antibody testing. There are trials, people have had it.

Its not what you get in a drive thru centre but that doesnt mean nobody is getting it

Davidhs Wed 29-Apr-20 18:22:05

Antibody tests show if you have been in contact with a disease and your immune system has reacted by producing the antibodies. The government has announced about a week ago that a trial of 20,000 antibody tests was being done, maybe the girlfriend was included in that programme, all I know is that a test was done and proved positive.

We cannot assume anything, immunity may be short lived or the virus may change before a vaccine is available.

GrannyLaine Wed 29-Apr-20 18:28:39

Thank you Davidhs, I wondered if it was part of the trial, as finding an accurate test seems to be problematic. It's interesting to look at how far it can spread and how quickly.

EllanVannin Wed 29-Apr-20 19:08:02

They had just landed in this country for Christmas with relatives, Maizie---why ?
They were both in the cubicle opposite to where I was and I couldn't do a thing about it because I was wired-up and couldn't move.
Nurses rushed to put on masks gloves and aprons and they also tried to tell the two ladies to wear masks.