Only 3 of 14 antibody tests deliver reliable results, researchers find

Mackenzie Bean - Print  | 

Of the 14 antibody tests on the market, just three consistently produce reliable results, according to research cited by The New York Times. 

A multidisciplinary team of more than 50 scientists from the University of California San Francisco, UC Berkeley and two affiliated research hubs conducted the research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed. Researchers spent the past few weeks comparing the performance of all commercially available antibody tests for COVID-19.

They found just one test never produced a false positive, and two others avoided false positives 99 percent of the time. However, these three tests still only detected antibodies in COVID-19 patients 90 percent of the time.

Of the remaining tests, four had false-positive rates in the 11 percent to 16 percent range. Most others fell at about 5 percent. 

While the research is still preliminary and subject to revisions, NYT noted the findings could complicate plans to reopen parts of the U.S. if antibody test results are not accurate.

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