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Developing a National Strategy for Serology (Antibody Testing) in the United States

Cover: Developing a National Strategy for Serology (Antibody Testing) in the United States
Gigi Gronvall, Nancy Connell, Amanda Kobokovich, Rachel West, Kelsey Lane Warmbrod, Matthew P. Shearer, Lucia Mullen, Tom Inglesby
Date posted:
April 22, 2020
Publication type:
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
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Serology (antibody) tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus have the potential to inform good public health decision making during the pandemic. This report describes potential uses of the tests, areas of uncertainty where additional research is needed, and examples from other countries now beginning to make use of these tests. The priority for the United States now is to make validated, accurate tests available to: (1) public health authorities, to conduct surveillance and to estimate the numbers of people previously infected. Should antibody tests be determined to correlate with immunity to the disease, they should then be made available to: (2) essential workers, with priority for healthcare workers and those who interact with vulnerable populations (eg, nursing home residents); and (3) individuals who may use them to assess their personal risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 disease). These tests will be in high demand, and manufacturing should be scaled appropriately, but the first steps will be to ensure accuracy, validity, and comparability of available tests.



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