Russians flock to antibody tests; West notes tool’s limit

Employees work at a LabQuest laboratory, a clinic that does antibody testing and processing, in Moscow, Russia, Monday, July 12, 2021. In Russia, it’s common to get an antibody test for the coronavirus and share the results. The tests are cheap, widely available and actively marketed by private clinics nationwide, and their use appears to be a factor in the country’s low vaccination rate even as daily deaths and infections are rising again. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

MOSCOW — When Russians talk about the coronavirus over dinner or in hair salons, the conversation often turns to “antitela,” the Russian word for antibodies — the proteins produced by the body to fight infection.