Russia counting on antibody tests; West notes tool’s limits

MOSCOW (AP) — When Russians discuss the coronavirus, the talk often turns to “antitela.” That’s the Russian word for antibodies. Tests to detect the proteins produced by the body to fight infection are cheap, widely available and actively marketed in Russia. But Western health experts say the antibody tests are unreliable either for diagnosing COVID-19 or assessing immunity to it. The antibodies these tests look for can only serve as evidence of a past infection and not a current one.  And yet the popularity of the tests and people relying on their results is seen as one factor in the country’s low vaccination rate.