Antibody Testing: What Exactly Does It Do, Can You Get One, And Are They Accurate?
Media outlets answer questions about antibody testing, which many see as crucial to reopening the country. Meanwhile, Democrats grill companies about the accuracy of their products.
The New York Times:
Coronavirus Antibody Test: What You Need To Know
As states across the country weigh options for reopening after weeks of stay-at-home orders, antibody tests have emerged as a potential pathway on how — and when — to do it. But there are many caveats, as a recent study found that many of the antibody tests available currently provided inaccurate results. Antibody tests look for signs in the blood that a person has been exposed to the novel coronavirus. (Herrera, 4/29)
What Is Antigen Testing? How A New Test Could Help Track The Coronavirus Outbreak
Cities and states across the country are looking to expand coronavirus testing as part of efforts to emerge from lockdowns, but two major barriers remain: how to screen huge parts of the population and how to do it quickly. Antigen testing, which can offer faster results with less lab work, is the newest idea beginning to take hold. (Chow, 4/28)
What Antibody Studies Can Tell You — And More Importantly, What They Can’t
In the past two weeks, researchers across America have begun announcing results from studies showing that there have been many more coronavirus infections in their communities than were previously recorded. Findings have come in from Santa Clara County, California, as well as Los Angeles, New York, Chelsea, Massachusetts, and Miami-Dade County, Florida. The debates began immediately. What did the study results actually mean? If more people were infected than previously known, did that mean the death rate is actually lower than previously thought? Is the coronavirus actually more like the flu, after all? (Chen, 4/28)
House Investigators Grill Companies Marketing Questionable Coronavirus Antibody Tests
A House subcommittee is driving up pressure Wednesday on companies marketing coronavirus antibody tests that may fail to meet "a reasonable standard of accuracy." Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Oversight subcommittee on economic and consumer policy, wrote to four companies — including one that's issuing tests in partnership with a major American medical tech company — requesting details of the firms' contact with the FDA, data supporting the accuracy of their tests and a list of medical facilities who have purchased test kits from the companies. (Cheney, 4/29)
Democrats Question Accuracy Of New Coronavirus Antibody Tests
The House Oversight Committee sent letters to four companies manufacturing and distributing antibody tests with concerns about their results on Tuesday, after a recent preliminary study of more than a dozen tests found that many were less sensitive than advertised, leaving risks of false-negative or positives. The panel is “concerned that [the Food and Drug Administration] is not conducting substantive review of serological tests that it has allowed on the market and that those tests may not meet a reasonable standard of accuracy,” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, the chairman of the panel’s Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, said in letters to the companies. (Siegel, 4/29)
Kaiser Health News:
Consumer Beware: Coronavirus Antibody Tests Are Still A Work In Progress
After hearing for months about serious access issues involving tests that diagnose COVID-19 based on swabs from the nose or throat, Americans are being inundated with reports about promising new tests that look for signs of infection in the blood. There are high hopes for these antibody tests, which detect proteins that form in blood as part of the body’s immune response to an invading virus. (Aleccia, 4/27)