Serological testing is not enough: Ricciardi’s explanation

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    <h2>The expert: "The swab is fundamental, it serves to exclude being in the middle of the infection"</h2>


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    <p>“If a citizen who independently submits to the <strong>serological test</strong> it is <strong>negative</strong>, we can say that it does not generally deserve further study.<strong> If it is positive</strong>on the other hand, the levels of IgG and IgM (therefore of the antibodies, ed) could indicate in which phase of the infection you are: but not being able to completely exclude the risk of being still contagious <strong>you still need to check with the swab</strong>". These are the words of <strong>Walter</strong> <strong>Ricciardi</strong>, full professor of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine at the Catholic University of Rome, released to the Live newspaper.

But what are the national guidelines for using the tests? “The Ministry of Health – Ricciardi explains – has issued a circular describing the decision-making flows, but each Region has the right to decide independently on ordinary management issues: the use of serological tests cannot however replace that of molecular tests based on nasopharyngeal swabs“.

This is because – underlines the expert – “a negative serological test does not exclude an infection in the initial stages, when the body has not yet produced antibodies specific against coronavirus. And a positive result does not necessarily mean that the person is still infectious “.

Furthermore, the reliability of these tests “strictly depends on their level of sensitivity and specificity, characteristics varying between over 100 commercially available kits“, Adds Ricciardi.

So why test 150 thousand Italian citizens, contacted directly by the Red Cross? “The investigation planned by the ministry – the teacher replies – is a different situation: the use of serological tests for epidemiological purposes is undoubtedly useful. The Technical Scientific Committee has selected a specific kit, which will be used to test 150 thousand people representative of the Italian population by gender, gender, age, geographical distribution. So we will have a precise idea of ​​the spread“.

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VIRGILIO NEWS | 28-05-2020 07:33

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