Double-Edged Spike: Are SARS-CoV-2 Serologic Tests Safe Right Now?

May 18, 2020 | Histopathology

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“Validation of new immunologic tests ain’t easy,” it’s been said; validation of new tests for human antibodies to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a particularly daunting task. While we endure months of disruption to daily life prompted by the ongoing pandemic, serologic testing for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 has now come to the limelight. SARS-CoV-2 is a highly contagious and acute severe respiratory pathogen that has produced an enormous strain on health care resources. In the United States and many other countries, specific social behavior restrictions have been enacted to moderate the impact of rapid propagation of this contagion (ie, “flatten the curve”). Scientific experts, governmental officials, and other professionals have publicly advocated for SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing to identify individuals who have developed immunity and therefore could potentially reenter the workplace safely despite ongoing high prevalence of the virus. A test for detecting “immune” individuals who will not be reinfected and who will not infect others is an appealing concept, but is it realistic?... More of this in the Journal of Clinical Pathology (JCP) Blog.

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