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The Blood Center (TBC) is using Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody test developed by Roche to test all blood donations for Covid-19 antibodies to inform the donors if they carry the antibody used in plasma transfusions for the critically ill Covid-19 patients.

Roche’s test is designed to detect antibodies in people who are exposed to SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is said to have more than 99.8% specificity and 100% sensitivity.

The high specificity of the test is vital in reliably determining exposure to the virus and detecting antibodies developed in response to it.

Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody test received emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April.

Commenting on the development, Roche Group CEO Severin Schwan said: “Thanks to the enormous efforts of our dedicated colleagues we are now able to deliver a high-quality antibody test in high quantities so we can support healthcare systems around the world with an important tool to better manage the Covid-19 health crisis.

”I am in particular pleased about the high specificity and sensitivity of our test, which is crucial to support health care systems around the world with a reliable tool to better manage the Covid-19 health crisis.”

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TBC said that donors who test positive for Covid-19 antibodies will be able to donate Covid Convalescent Plasma (CCP) for the treatment of virus-infected patients.

As the test will not detect current infections, donors who are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms should not attempt to donate, TBC noted.

Additionally, the data regarding what percentage of the population was exposed to the virus will be provided to the Louisiana Department of Health by TBC.

The Blood Center medical director Dr Tim Peterson said: “We have seen promising results from patients who have received CCP, but there are only a few recovered patients who are eligible to give at this time.

“The scarcity of donors with the Covid-19 antibody makes this test extremely beneficial to patient care.”

In order to practice social distancing and ensure a safe, stable blood supply, TBC has requested donors to schedule their donations. They will receive test results 48 hours after the donation through the official website.