Why Test for COVID-19 Immune Levels?

To help increase travel and reconnect with the world, but keep our own country safe, we need a personalised approach to border security that permits low-risk travelers to bypass mandatory quarantine. This requires a high-level of confidence that the individual has a level of protection against the virus that means they’re unable to carry or transmit COVID-19.

The best way to know whether an individual is protected is to a determine their immune response by measuring the number of antibodies, or defense proteins produced as a result of vaccination or infection.

This concept of measuring immunity isn’t new. In fact, lab-based antibody testing has been widely used to pinpoint and stamp out the near-eradicated polio virus for decades, and was the first screening method widely used for HIV because of its high sensitivity.

Currently, labs around the world are measuring COVID-19 antibodies to look back in time to determine who has been previously infected and study community transmission. These tests are also being used to assess the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, helping to answer critical questions such as how long we can expect protection from infection to last.

Antibodies are just one part of the immune system’s armory. However, they are specially designed to remember a virus in order to protect against re-infection. Some antibodies are better at doing this than others, depending on what part of the virus they target. Research shows the most effective antibodies against COVID-19 infection target the spike protein found on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Orbis’ lab-on-a-disk accurately measures antibodies against the COVID spike protein, bringing antibody testing out of the lab for use at key locations, such as at the point of travel.

Why Test for Immunity at the Point of Travel?

If our aim is to increase travel while keeping our communities safe, travelers need access to a test that provides results in real-time but is just as accurate as those in medical laboratories.

The antibody tests undertaken in medical labs are unable to rapidly return a result. A venous blood draw has to be taken by trained staff, then it needs to be delivered to the lab, run through the necessary tests, results interpreted and reported back to the customer.

Automated immunity tests aim produce lab-accurate results in real time, on the spot, with minimal user intervention. This enables a person’s true health status to inform time-critical decisions that safeguard their wellbeing. This is crucial when it comes to COVID-19, as this information also has implications for safeguarding the wider community, such as the deciding whether to enter a lockdown.

What's next for Immunity Testing?

Automated immunity testing is a valuable tool in the toolbox for developing a smart and secure border framework for safe restart of international travel.  This will be valuable for COVID-19 and beyond, to safeguard risk-free travel in an everchanging world.

Orbis is pleased to be partnered with leading biometric company IDEMIA to develop and deploy a complete immunity testing platform solution for the air travel industry that enables the best passenger experience without compromising on security.

Read more about our Partnership here.

Read more about Orbis’ technology here.