Lagos-based genetic testing company SMART DNA, in collaboration with AlphaBiolabs, a UK laboratory firm, has recently launched antibody and immunity test kits for COVID-19.
The demand for free PCR tests in government-owned hospitals in Nigeria outruns the supply, which led to delays in results up to several days, slowing down the measures to combat the disease. The company aims to help address this issue with its products.
SMART DNA’s Head of Business Development, Bukola Ogunsanwo, stated that the company introduced the antibody test to the Nigerian market to help the public and physicians decide their risks of infection and spreading the virus, whether from the vaccine or a previous infection – especially COVID-19.
The test works by analyzing samples of the patients’ blood. It detects the presence of COVID-19-specific antibodies, such as immunoglobulin G (IgG), and provides a quantitative result of the level of COVID-19 antibodies within a sample.
Ogunsanwo added that the test could be performed both at Smart DNA’s Lagos office and in the comfort of each patient’s home. Patients who would like to test from home will be sent a sample collection kit to collect the blood spot. The sample will then be returned to the laboratory for analysis.
“With the launch of our antibody test, we hope to provide individuals and healthcare providers with better insights on immunity to COVID-19,” said Ogunsanwo.