Ensuring health safety is the priority of tourists and also the main concern of tour operators and travel suppliers. Travel companies, a sector hardly hit by the pandemic, are trying to introduce measures to ensure a safe stay for the traveller. In addition to health protocols and PCR tests, now, a new test could join the fight against SARS-CoV-2 virus: The antigen test.
The test, carried out by means of taking a nasal or saliva swab, will detect the protein of the virus in 10-20 minutes, and therefore, it would be the most suitable solution for travellers and travel destinations. So far, tests with high sensitivity and specificity were not available. However, the well-known clinical diagnostic company Beckman Coulter is working on developing antigen tests with high sensitivity and specificity that would give great hope to the travel sector.
Beckman Coulter, received the CE mark last month to manufacture their SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody test. Immediately, the company started shipping and distributing the assay in Spain. The serology test targets IgG antibodies and has confirmed 100% sensitivity and 99.8% specificity, the highest levels in the market. Knowing if these types of IgG antibodies have been developed after recovering from the infection, is crucial, as it permits us to understand the inmunity levels of population.
Following with his progression in the fight against Covid-19, Beckman Coulter has launched this month of October to the US market his last Access SARS-CoV-2 assay of Inmunoglobulin (IgM), a new serological test that allows to detect IgM antibodies demonstrating 99.9% specificity and 98.3% sensitivity at 15-30 days post-symptom onset. This test that is about to be launched in Europe offers information about a patient’s inmune status with disease incidence as low as 3%.
After developing his two IgG and IgM antibodies assays, with high accuracy, the company is currently inmersed in developing high reliability antigen tests. The antigen tests would be perfect to complete the two previous serological tests. If it is able to develop the antigen tests, Beckman Coulter would make easier the work of diagnostic laboratories, currently under immense pressure. Antigen tests allow to offer a first screening in a fast and affordable way for both travel suppliers and passengers. Also, it is estimated that is price is lower than a PCR test.
Beckman Coulter is in the ranking of the four in vitro diagnostic manufacturers at a global level and has a capacity of delivering a high number of tests. Currently, it is developing different tests such as: the quantitative IgG assay, biomarkers and the antigen tests (the most awaited test for all travel sector suppliers).
At the moment there are many airlines, hotels and touroperators interested in this new diagnostic solution -still in evolutionary stage- of the operating company of Danaher Corporation.