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What is the Diagnostic Accuracy of Antibody Tests for the Detection of Infection with the COVID-19 Virus?

What is the Diagnostic Accuracy of Antibody Tests for the Detection of Infection with the COVID-19 Virus?

The sensitivity of antibody tests is too low in the first week since symptom onset to have a primary role for the diagnosis of COVID-19, but they may still have a role complementing other testing in individuals presenting later, when RT-PCR tests are negative, or are not done.

Antibody tests are likely to have a useful role for detecting previous SARS-CoV-2 infection if used 15 or more days after the onset of symptoms. However, the duration of antibody rises is currently unknown, and we found very little data beyond 35 days post-symptom onset.

We are therefore uncertain about the utility of these tests for seroprevalence surveys for public health management purposes. Concerns about high risk of bias and applicability make it likely that the accuracy of tests when used in clinical care will be lower than reported in the included studies.

Sensitivity has mainly been evaluated in hospitalised patients, so it is unclear whether the tests are able to detect lower antibody levels likely seen with milder and asymptomatic COVID-19 disease.

CriticalCare.news
June 25, 2020

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