The Flawed Science of Antibody Testing for #SARS-CoV-2 Immunity | Infectious Diseases | JAMA | JAMA Network
[…] some tests detect antibodies the immune system likely produces only after natural infection with the virus. Depending on the assay, people who weren’t previously infected could test negative for antibodies despite having vaccine-induced immunity.
[…] the laboratory tests haven’t been standardized. “That’s a problem when people say, ‘Okay, I want to go see if I should get a booster or not,’” Theel said. Some SARS-CoV-2 serology assays simply give a positive or negative result, without antibody values. Those that are quantitative use varying methods, detect different antibody classes, and report values using different units of measurement.
According to Theel, if and when correlates and thresholds of protection are determined, the tests will need to be standardized and calibrated, as has been done with antibody tests for other vaccine-preventable diseases, including tetanus, diphtheria, and measles. So far, only one commercially available SARS-CoV-2 antibody test, from Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, has been calibrated to the World Health Organization’s reference standard, she said.