There are three tests for the obesity virus, each with benefits and drawbacks and they are different in cost. At this time all have to be done with your doctor or laboratory to get a sample to send to Obetech. Patients need to contact Obetech if they need information about how to get tested for Adv36 in your area.
What is it? It measures antibodies against the obesity virus in blood. It is a very sensitive screening test, but rarely an incorrect reading may occur. If the ELISA test is positive or if the individual wants a more specific test, the PCR test or the serum neutralization test may be considered.
How it’s done: This test requires a tube of blood be sent to Obetech (10 ml or about two teaspoons of blood) by your doctor or laboratory.
Cost – $200.
Serum Neutralization Test:
What is it? The serum neutralization test is not quite as sensitive as the ELISA, but is more specific. It measures antibodies against the obesity virus in blood. It is a very time consuming and an expensive tissue culture test requiring cells exposed to the obesity virus be examined under the microscope to determine if antibodies in the person’s serum can stop the virus from killing the cells. It has been a “gold standard” test. If it is positive, the person has been infected with the obesity virus.
How it’s done: This test requires a tube of blood be sent to Obetech (10 ml or about two teaspoons of blood) by patient’s doctors or laboratories. It takes two weeks to perform.
Cost – $400.
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test:
What is it? The PCR test is not quite as sensitive as the ELISA, but it measures Adv36 DNA in fat tissue. If positive, it is very strong evidence that the person has been infected. PCR stands for “polymerase chain reaction” and is the same test used to measure DNA from a cigarette butt on the TV crime shows. It looks for the presence of DNA from the obesity virus, not the person’s DNA, and can detect tiny quantities. It is a “gold standard” test. If it is positive, it is virtually certain that the person has been infected with the obesity virus.
How it’s done: This test requires that a tiny bit of fat tissue from beneath the skin be taken out through a needle. The test is no more painful and actually is easier than drawing blood because it is not necessary to hit a vein beneath the skin. The needle size is the same that is used for donating blood. The doctor or nurse places the needle through the skin, pushes in a small amount of sterile saline (salt water), sucks out a tiny bit of fat, and withdraws the needle. The fat is placed on a special paper and sent back to the Obetech lab for PCR testing.
Cost – $250.Note: The ELISA test is the most viable option for testing. Depending on the outcome of the ELISA test the PCR test should be used as an extensive confirmatory testing for viral presence.