Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(14,510 posts)
Tue Apr 21, 2020, 05:31 PM Apr 2020

Another good article on CV antibody tests and CV immunity.

Everything we know about coronavirus immunity and antibodies — and plenty we still don’t
By Andrew Joseph @DrewQJoseph
Stat News
April 20, 2020

Link: https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/20/everything-we-know-about-coronavirus-immunity-and-antibodies-and-plenty-we-still-dont/

People who think they’ve been exposed to the novel coronavirus are clamoring for antibody tests — blood screens that can detect who has previously been infected and, the hope is, signal who is protected from another case of Covid-19.

But as the tests roll out, some experts are trying to inject a bit of restraint into the excitement that the results of these tests could, for example, clear people to get back to work. Some antibody tests have not been validated, they warn. Even those that have been can still provide false results. And an accurate positive test may be hard to interpret: the virus is so new that researchers cannot say for sure what sort of results will signal immunity or how long that armor will last.

They caution that policymakers may be making sweeping economic and social decisions — plans to reopen businesses or schools, for example — based on limited data, assumptions, and what’s known about other viruses. President Trump last week unveiled a three-phased approach to reopen the country; he said some states that have seen declining case counts could start easing social distancing requirements immediately. And some authorities have raised the idea of granting “immunity passports” to people who recover from the virus to allow them to return to daily life without restrictions.

“Before we embark on huge policy decisions, like issuing immunity certificates to get people back to work, I think it’s good that people are saying, ‘Hold up, we don’t know that much about immunity to this virus,’” said Angela Rasmussen, a Columbia University virologist.

Patience, grasshopper.

3 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Another good article on CV antibody tests and CV immunity. (Original Post) KY_EnviroGuy Apr 2020 OP
Antibody tests aren't bathtub science Warpy Apr 2020 #1
Thanks. I've seen what you said confirmed in several sources. KY_EnviroGuy Apr 2020 #2
well just on, sanjay gupta got an antibody test to see if he had the virus sprinkleeninow Apr 2020 #3


(111,556 posts)
1. Antibody tests aren't bathtub science
Tue Apr 21, 2020, 05:43 PM
Apr 2020

so there are going to be a lot of fakes out there and some good ones might even make their way into hospitals swamped with frightened people.

In addition, they only show that someone has been infected and that the immune system has recognized the threat. It might be in imminent threat, the person getting the illness days later, or recovery from an illness. The first AIDS tests were for antibodies and we all know those didn't signal immunity, just infection.

Most known coronaviruses in the human population produce infection followed by immunity. The caution is with MERS, in which the immunity started to fade after 2 years, although I have seen no record of a documented second case of the disease, and if so, whether secondary cases had the same high fatality rate as the original.

I'll welcome a good, standardized antibody test. I'd like to know if what I'm calling a mild case of "presumptive" was it or just an especially weird case of flu.

However, even with a possible increase in the percentage of asymptomatic cases, a positive antibody test shouldn't make anyone who hasn't been ill feel bulletproof, and it should make anyone who has been ill to maintain some caution in case immunity is either incomplete or nonpermanent.


(14,510 posts)
2. Thanks. I've seen what you said confirmed in several sources.
Tue Apr 21, 2020, 06:56 PM
Apr 2020

One of many dangers to our public and to the thinking of politicians and business leaders is not only misinformation but also people mistaking the intent of what scientists say.

For example, I've seen numerous instances of experts using the phrases "we believe" or "we think" or "our preliminary results show" and the press or public take those contentions as hard facts. Next day, they're printed as such.

I believe many of our scientists need to learn how to better communicate with us in ways that can't be misinterpreted or perhaps twisted into another reality by crooks.

Many times, it's best they say nothing at all or just simply say "we don't yet know"......

Kick in to the DU tip jar?

This week we're running a special pop-up mini fund drive. From Monday through Friday we're going ad-free for all registered members, and we're asking you to kick in to the DU tip jar to support the site and keep us financially healthy.

As a bonus, making a contribution will allow you to leave kudos for another DU member, and at the end of the week we'll recognize the DUers who you think make this community great.

Tell me more...

Latest Discussions»Issue Forums»Health»Another good article on C...