is launching a laboratory-based blood test designed to detect antibodies to
identify whether someone has had the Coronavirus strain COVID-19.
The antibody test,
which will run on Abbott’s Architect i1000SR and i2000SR laboratory instruments
found in hospitals and big reference labs, is different than diagnostic tests
Abbott and other companies have launched that test whether a person has the
Coronavirus strain COVID-19. Rather, this antibody testing will look for
whether “someone has previously been infected,” the company said in an
Antibody testing is
considered the next wave in U.S. diagnostic testing amid the pandemic because
someone who has already been infected may be able to return to work. And in the
case of healthcare workers, they could continue to treat sick patients.
Abbott said it will
ship nearly 1 million tests this week to U.S. customers while ramping up
manufacturing to ship 4 million tests in total in April. By June and beyond,
Abbott said it will be shipping 20 million tests in the U.S. per month.
“Antibody testing is
an important next step to tell if someone has been previously infected,” Abbott
said in its announcement. “It will provide more understanding of the virus,
including how long antibodies stay in the body and if they provide immunity. This
type of knowledge could help support the development of treatments and
To be sure, U.S.
health officials have said antibody testing is critical to re-opening the
economy and avoiding future drastic mitigation strategies underway now like sheltering
in place or closing down schools.
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