The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) has approved a study focusing on the evaluation and validation of rapid antibody tests for COVID-19.
The announcement was made by DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña in his weekly report on Facebook, noting the project will be led by Dr. Leonila Dans of the University of the Philippines (UP) – Manila.
The project, de la Peña said, will analyse how well rapid antibody tests perform in the acute (less than or equal to 14 days) and convalescent (more than 14 days) phases of the disease using a representative sample from Filipinos suspected as carriers of the virus.
With a budget of P19.137 million, the project will run for nine months but dela Peña maintained significant results can already be obtained in three months.
Rapid antibody test kits, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), yield faster results compared to Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based kits but only trained health professionals should evaluate and interpret its results as it only measures antibodies, something the body usually takes time to develop.
“A positive result due to cross reaction with other bacteria or viruses is also possible which is why a confirmatory PCR based test is still required,” Domingo added.