Researchers Race To Improve Antibody Test Accuracy

coronavirus blood test
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By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

It’s hoped that antibody tests may provide more insight into when social distancing measures can be lifted.  It’s become a primary focus for the research of universities, companies and medical facilities to find an answer to the problem.

Tests for antibodies to COVID-19, which are made during the body’s immune response, are being developed in earnest, with some of the work is being done at UCSF and Stanford.

“We actually work very closely with Stanford, it’s not like in football or anything.” Said UCSF Director of Division of Prevention and Public Health, Dr. George Rutherford, “we are talking to each other five times a day about this kind of stuff.”

Rutherford said the market is flooded with antibody tests and some are going to be good and some are going to be junk, something that the market needs to shake out. He said lots of people believe they were infected months ago and want to know if they were an early case.

“I say wait until May, let the market shake out and then we’ll understand how well these tests work and how they preform against each other,” said Rutherford.

He said the issue of false positive and negative tests are huge, so people shouldn’t make assumptions of immunity based on a positive test as it’s unknown how strong that immunity is or how long it will last.