The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) approved the study focusing on the evaluation and validation of rapid antibody tests for COVID-19, according to DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña.
Dr. Leonila Dans of the University of the Philippines (UP) – Manila will spearhead the project, which will analyze the performance of rapid antibody tests. The project will determine its performance 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.
The project will run for nine months with a budget of P19.137 million but dela Peña said that three months is enough for the study to procure results.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), rapid antibody test kits used to determine if a person carries the COVID-19 yield faster results compared to Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based kits. In addition, only trained health professionals can evaluate and interpret their results as they measure only antibodies that the human body usually takes time to develop.