Abbott’s coronavirus antibody test turns out to be very accurate
Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine have found that the blood test for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies recently launched by Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) is very accurate in detecting antibodies in patients tested at least 17 days after the onset of symptoms. The results revealed that the test had a specificity of 99.9%, or about one false positive in 1,000 healthy patients, and a sensitivity of 100%, or a complete absence of false negative results in patients confirmed to have had COVID-19.
The research was carried out in Boise, Idaho, as part of an initiative called “Crush the Curve,” sponsored by local businesses. Researchers tested 1,020 blood samples that were collected before COVID-19 arrived in the United States and found a false positive. They also tested 689 blood samples from 125 patients with confirmed COVID-19, and those tests gave positive results 100% of the time.
Abbott launched the test for the IgG SARS-CoV-2 antibody for its Architect lab test system on April 15, and it received emergency use clearance from the Food and Drug Administration on April 26. The test detects a specific protein that the body produces in the later stages of a COVID-19 infection, one that can stay in the bloodstream for months and possibly years after the patient has recovered. Scientists do not yet know whether the antibody confers immunity to COVID-19[female[feminine, but widespread antibody testing is needed for governments and the medical community to measure the prevalence and spread of the disease.
Abbott has already shipped 10 million antibody tests for its Architect platform and plans to increase production capacity to 20 million tests per month in June. The Crush the Curve Idaho initiative – which only tests people who believe they have had COVID-19 and have recovered – has tested more than 10,000 people in the Boise area, 0.71% of whom returned positive results .
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