New antibody test robots

CDC: Some coronavirus antibodies tests only half accurate
Posted at 4:37 PM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 18:37:57-04

There has been a lot of talk lately about COVID-19 testing delays, but there is a new technology to help with the antibody testing. The CDC says it may help medical professionals better respond to the pandemic.

From Arizona to Florida, serology tests have become important, helping each region of the United States estimate what percentage of Americans have been infected with the coronavirus. The results are important in detecting infections with few or no symptoms, which, in turn, can help scientists better monitor and respond.

Now the CDC has unveiled laboratory robots to help get results from those antibody tests more quickly, from the loading of the sample through the detection of antibodies. The robot can test more than 3,600 samples a day, compared to about 400 samples a public health scientist can test in that same time period.

The CDC says the robots will improve antibody testing capacity and allow for more data to help in the fight against COVID-19. A serology or antibody test looks for the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections.