May 8, 2020
Beginning Thursday, May 7, Memorial Healthcare will offer a new antibody test that can identify previous patient exposure to COVID-19 and successful recovery. The test uses a platform produced by DiaSorin that has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for COVID-19 Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
The test involves a simple blood draw, and it represents a vital step in COVID-19 vaccination research and development. Memorial Healthcare is the first healthcare system in the Shiawassee County region to offer the test in-house.
“This new test is not intended to diagnose acute infection. It is intended to show post-infection recovery phase or post-infection immunity status due to active IgG antibodies directed toward SARS-CoV-2,” said Dr. Hassan Nasir, allergist/immunologist with Memorial Healthcare. “Once there is a COVID-19 vaccine, this test will also be capable of showing us that the vaccine has provided immunity to the patient.”
The test works by detecting levels of immunoglobin G (IgG) antibodies in a patient’s blood. In patients with healthy immune systems, high IgG levels are present in the later stages of COVID-19 infection. Certain levels of the antibody in a blood sample indicate that the patient has already been exposed to COVID-19 and has recovered successfully.
Beginning May 7, Memorial Healthcare is able to run more than 800 antibody tests immediately. Results will be available to patients within 72 hours of testing. For social distancing purposes, individuals interested in receiving antibody testing are asked to contact (989) 720-2131 to schedule an appointment. The antibody test is available for $50 and does not require an order from their healthcare provider.
Memorial Healthcare is also offering antibody testing on a larger scale to employers seeking to have employees tested before they return to work. Employers may contact (989) 720-2131 for additional information, including the option of testing employees at the workplace.
While the DiaSorin IgG test will help identify past exposure to COVID-19, a physician’s evaluation and other tests will be necessary to assess a patient’s full history of potential infection and antibodies. It is important to note that patients who have antibodies to COVID-19 may still carry the virus and infect others.
About the DiaSorin antibody testing platform
Memorial Healthcare is using an antibody testing platform produced by DiaSorin. Unlike similar IgG testing platforms, the DiaSorin platform has been granted EUA status by the FDA, indicating that the FDA has deemed it a benefit to public health during the COVID-19 pandemic. A comprehensive list of all COVID-19 EUAs can be found on the FDA website.
Memorial Healthcare has calibrated the antibody testing platforms and test kits to ensure sound specificity and sensitivity. Calibration involves using blood or serum samples from patients confirmed to have had COVID-19 to ensure the test reads positive for a high proportion of those people. The DiaSorin platform posts clinical sensitivity at 97.56% and clinical specificity posted at 99.3%.
For more information on Memorial Healthcare’s COVID-19 testing capabilities, visit www.memorialhealthcare.org/coronavirus-covid-19-updates-what-to-know/.
About Memorial Healthcare
Memorial Healthcare is known and respected on a national level for its high marks in quality, safety, and patient experience. It has received four stars from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in both overall rating and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers (HCAHPS) surveys. For several years, Memorial Healthcare has been awarded an “A” ranking in quality and safety from The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, DC-based organization aiming to improve health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers. To learn more about Memorial’s quality, safety, and patient experience rankings, visit https://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare.
Memorial Healthcare is a 161-bed non-profit facility located in Shiawassee County, Michigan. Each year, Memorial cares for nearly 30,000 emergency patients, provides more than 200,000 outpatient service visits and delivers hospital-based medical services to more than 3,500 inpatients. Our mission is to promote health and wellness through quality, compassionate health care with a commitment to service excellence, teamwork, and innovation. For more information visit www.memorialhealthcare.org.