As of February 2021, over 1 million daily COVID tests are still conducted in the United States on average. As demand for high-quality and efficient testing devices remains high, you may be wondering where you can get access to these products for your lab or business. Here, we’ll outline the different types of COVID tests, including which are the most accurate and affordable options on the market. Then, we’ll walk you through the testing process for our preferred test, the Eco IgM/IgG antibody rapid test. Read on to get started.
The Types of COVID Tests
In short, two broad categories of COVID tests currently exist. The first category is diagnostic tests.
Diagnostic tests are great for showing whether or not a person has an active coronavirus infection. Diagnostic tests themselves can be broken down into two further categories: molecular tests and antigen tests, each with its own unique set of benefits and procedures.
The second broad category of COVID tests is antibody tests. The main purpose of this type of test is to check for the antibodies made by our immune system in response to a threat – such as the Coronavirus. Accordingly, antibody tests offer the absolute fastest available turnaround times and show if you’ve been infected with coronavirus in the past. There are several options of antibody tests out there, some more effective than others.
The IgM/IgG Antibody Test – The Most Accurate Antibody Test Backed Clinical Data
Given Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the ECO IgM/IgG antibody test offered by Rapid Detect, Inc. is able to detect antibodies 5 to 7 days after symptoms first appear in the individual being tested, making it one of the quickest and most accurate antibody tests on the market. This easy-to-administer, cost-effective testing option can be performed by health personnel with no specific medical training. Best of all, the IgM/IgG antibody test shows clear results within 15 minutes, not the days or weeks common of other laboratory testing methods.
The antibody test uses a lateral flow immunochromatographic assay for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in venous whole blood, serum, or plasma. While it is an easy and affordable option, there are several important steps and considerations you must keep in mind to ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of the test. Below, we explore the testing process in its entirety.
Click below to learn more about this COVID test, including how it works, and the significance of the results!
How to Properly Conduct the IgM/IgG Antibody Test
Before testing, you should first allow the device, specimen, buffer, and/or controls to reach room temperature. Additionally, once the test device is removed from the sealed pouch, it should be used as soon as possible.
Upon opening, inspect the testing device. You should see a blue line in the control region (next to the “C”). If this blue line is absent, discard the device immediately as it may produce inaccurate results. As the final step in the set up process, you will want to label the test with patient or control identification.
Adding Venous Whole Blood Specimens, Serum, or Plasma Specimens
Using the disposable pipette provided, draw the specimen above the fill line (avoid any of the specimen entering the bubble of pipette) and transfer one drop of the specimen into the well of the test device. Then, add 2 drops of buffer and start the timer. It should be noted that adding more or less than the recommended number of drops of specimen and/or buffer may lead to incorrect test results.
For Fingerstick Whole Blood
Before taking a sample, carefully clean and prepare the puncture site with the sanitizing pad provided.
Carefully remove the safety lancet’s cap. Once removed, push the lancet firmly against the puncture site until it pricks the finger.
As with the previous collection method, use the disposable pipette and draw the specimen just above the fill line, being careful to avoid any of the specimen entering the bubble at the top of the pipette. Then, transfer one drop (equivalent to 10mewL) of the specimen into the well of the test device, then add 2 drops of buffer and start the timer. Again, adding more or less than the recommended amount of specimen or buffer could lead to inaccurate test results.
Interpretation of Results: Potential Testing Outcomes Explained
Once the specimen has been properly collected and your timer has been started, wait for the blue line to change to a red line. At the 15 minute mark, you’ll be able to read the results. Results should not be interpreted before that time, or after 30 minutes from the start time.
IgM and IgG Positive: If the colored line in the control region (C) changes from blue to red, and two red-colored lines appear in IgG and IgM test regions, the result is positive for IgM and IgG antibodies. Variation of the color intensities of the three lines does not indicate a different result.
IgG Positive: If the colored line in the control region (C) changes from blue to red, and a colored line appears in the IgG test region. The result is positive for COVID-19 virus-specific IgG antibodies.
IgM Positive: If the colored line in the control region (C) changes from blue to red, and a colored line appears in the IgM test region. The result is positive for COVID-19 virus-specific IgM antibodies.
Negative: If the colored line in the control region (C) changes from blue to red, but no lines appear in either the IgM or IgG test regions, the test results are negative for antibodies.
Invalid: There are a few different instances in which the antibody test results may return as invalid.
If the control line (C) fails to completely change from blue to red, the test results should not be used. The most likely result for this outcome is insufficient buffer volume or other incorrect procedural techniques. We recommend reviewing your procedure against what is outlined in the instructions and then repeating with a new testing device. However, if problems in the testing process continue to occur, stop using the test kit immediately and contact your local distributor for more information or further guidance.
As mentioned previously, the color intensity of the red line in the test regions can vary depending on the concentration of the specimen. As it is a qualitative test only, any shade of red in the test region should be considered positive, regardless of concentration.
Rapid Detect: Your Trusted Drug and COVID Test Provider
If you’d like to learn more about how the ECO IgG/IgM antibody rapid tests work and what benefits the test provides, check out the other informational COVID Testing guides posted on our website. If you’d like to talk more about your COVID or other drug testing needs, we invite you to reach out to our team via our online contact form. Rapid Detect has quality products, excellent staff, and one on one customer service unmatched by any other provider. Whenever you need a high-quality, low-cost drug or COVID testing products, we look forward to helping you throughout the process!