Collaborating Authors

antibody test

How many of us are likely to have caught the coronavirus so far?

New Scientist

JUST how many people have been infected with the coronavirus? Statistics are trickling in from cities and countries around the world, but the figures vary hugely. Some regions are reporting that less than 1 per cent of people have been infected, and others that over half the population has had the virus. How are these figures calculated, and which can we trust? Determining the true prevalence of coronavirus infection will be important for understanding how the virus spreads and limiting its damage. The reporting of coronavirus cases varies drastically around the world.

Hype and science collide as FDA tries to rein in 'wild West' of COVID-19 blood tests

Los Angeles Times

"Save your business while saving lives," reads the website of Because Health, a Seattle tech start-up selling two types of tests to employers willing to pay $350 a pop to learn whether their workers have been infected with COVID-19. The company's "Workplace Health" plan includes not only nasal swab tests to detect infection, but also blood tests aimed at determining whether workers have developed antibodies to the virus -- and, possibly, future protection. "There's a tremendous consumer demand," said Dr. Lars Boman, the firm's Boston-based medical director. "Can they return to work? Can they return to life?"

'Like a science experiment': A New York family learns the limits of coronavirus tests

Reuters: U.S. News

NEW YORK (Reuters) - After a week or so sick in bed in their New York City apartment in March, members of the Johnson-Baruch family were convinced they had been stricken by the novel coronavirus. Subsequent test results left them with more questions than answers. Tests both for the virus itself and for the antibodies the immune system produces to fight the infection are becoming more widely available, but they are not perfect. For Maree Johnson-Baruch, her husband, Jason Baruch, and their two teenage daughters, their experience ran the gamut. They all became sick around the same time with the same symptoms.

The FDA Tightens the Rules for Covid-19 Antibody Blood Tests


The federal government has received plenty of well-deserved flack for slow-rolling the national launch of diagnostic tests for Covid-19. First came the flawed swab-based tests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, followed by a chaotic, lost month of regulatory tango that prevented independent tests from getting scaled and out the door. So when interest arose in a different kind of testing--antibody blood tests, which are used to find evidence of past infection, not a current diagnosis--the US Food and Drug Administration was under pressure to hurry things along. In mid-March, the agency loosened its rules, declaring via an update to its emergency use guidance that antibody tests could be sold without seeking the agency's approval, provided that manufacturers did their own validation. Now FDA officials are walking back that decision.

Coronavirus Antibody Test With 100% Accuracy Gets FDA Approval, Step Closer To COVID-19 Immunity

International Business Times

A blood antibody (or serology) test that determines with incredible accuracy if someone has ever been infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus has received quick emergency-use approval (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It was developed by Swiss multinational healthcare giant, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is SARS-CoV-2, or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The Roche antibody test, "Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2," is 100% accurate at detecting antibodies in the blood and 99.8% accurate at ruling out the presence of antibodies (otherwise called the specificity rate). This means it provides no false negatives and very few false-positive tests. These rates help determine if a person has been exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

Can antibody tests tell if you're immune to COVID-19?

FOX News

As the new coronavirus burns its way across the world, scientists are rushing to find ways to identify those who have been infected -- including those who have recovered from COVID-19. Those people, the thinking goes, may be immune to the deadly virus and could theoretically help restart the economy without fear of reinfection. One key piece of this puzzle is rolling out what are known as serological tests that look for specific antibodies in a person's blood. So far, they have been used to estimate how much of the population has been exposed in different areas, such as New York City and Los Angeles. But what are these tests, and can they really help to identify who is immune to SARS-CoV-2?