University Hospitals and MetroHealth are embarking on efforts to use antibody tests on frontline health workers to improve understanding of COVID-19 and the possibility (and probability) of re-infection. University Hospital seeks to test approximately 10,000 employees representing nearly 50% of its staff to determine how many have developed COVID-19 antibodies.
Key Testing Prerequisite: High Quality
University Hospitals will use what is described as a high-quality IgG antibody test from Abbott for the study. Apparently, there has been growing concern that shoddy products were coming to market. Abbott’s is supposed to be one of the better such testing products. And this is important—after all, bad testing products can put a community in a worst predicament—what with false results, for example. Due to its quality, the Abbot product apparently received an Emergency Use Authorization.
A key Question for University Hospitals
University Hospitals commence testing mid-May. The study seeks to answer a fundamental question: do people who contract the virus develop antibodies that project them from future exposure?
MetroHealth launched an observational study—to include 300 participants who will be tested twice, reports IdeaStream. First by a standard diagnostic test to assess if those subjects have the virus and secondly by an antibody test to determine if they previously had been infected by the virus. The MetroHealth investigators hope to submit their findings to a peer-reviewed scientific journal by June.
Dr. Robert Salata, chair of the department of medicine, University Hospitals
Adam Perzynski, associate professor, Case Western Reserve University and MetroHealth