Mazus: the Results of mass testing will be the starting point for further research COVID-19

The results of mass testing will be the starting point for further research of novel coronavirus infection, said a member of the Clinical Committee for combating coronavirus, head of the Moscow center AIDS Alexey Mazus. In an interview to Business FM, he stressed the value of mass testing of the population for antibodies to COVID-19 from a scientific point of view. According to Mazus, it is incorrect to interpret the present results of mass testing for antibodies as something that actually asymptomatic coronavirus had ten times more people than so far considered. This is only a starting point for further research, the expert said. Mazus said that this analysis allows to make definite conclusions, indicating the nature of the appearance of antibodies. “Doubt that the designated antibodies appeared after a meeting with COVID-19 and not with other coronaviruses, can not be. These antibodies are not protect the body, but they indicate that there is more virus-neutralizing antibodies, which are an indicator of protection,” said Mazus. In the capital, the analyses do use the most accurate method of diagnosis, with little input from staff, said Mazus, adding that it allows you to cover a large part of the population. “In Moscow clinics apply qualitative tests — CLIA (immunochemiluminescence analysis), the most accurate method of all the serological diagnosis suitable for mass testing and virtually does not require the participation of staff,” he said. The expert noted that Moscow today is quite possible to make up to half a million tests a week. “But even in the best test we can find people who have such low titers of antibodies that are not detected by the test,” said Alexei Mazus. According to him, repeatedly within a short period of time coronavirus infection people do not become infected. And in moste cases the disease is mild or asymptomatic. He also noted the validity of provisional measures of isolation of residents with identified COVID-19. The expert stressed that the future belongs to universal platforms aimed at completely different viruses. They will in the shortest possible time to respond to a biological threat. We add that testing for antibodies to COVID-19 carried out the ELISA method (enzyme immunoassay). This allows to identify the presence or absence in the blood of the patient IgM antibodies (a marker for the presence of coronavirus infection) and IgG (a marker of immunity to coronavirus infection). Every few days for testing invited about 70 thousand inhabitants of the city, selected in accordance with the age structure of the population and given County of residence. Blood sampling will be conducted on the basis of 30 urban adult outpatient clinic with observance sanitary-epidemiological requirements. The implementation of mass screening would improve the detection rate of new coronavirus, first of all, the people who carry the disease in asymptomatic form. Moreover, mass screening allows you to receive relevant information about the formation of population immunity (the proportion of the population have developed immunity) to COVID-19 and, accordingly, to predict the future course of the pandemic, on the basis that it will be possible to make informed decisions on the abolition/preservation of existing restrictions.

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