Second Abbott coronavirus antibody test gets emergency use authorization

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Abbott Labs announced on Monday that it had received emergency use authorization from the FDA for its antibody test capable of detecting COVID-19.

The serology blood test, which runs on Abbott's Alinity i system, is able to detect with 99.6 percent specific and 100 percent sensitive for patients who have been tested at least 14 days after symptoms first started.

"Having more options of highly reliable tests across our platforms will help health care workers and health officials as they conduct broad-scale testing for COVID-19," said Abbott CEO Robert Ford in a statement. "Abbott is a leader in providing antibody testing at large scale on multiple systems, which is helping meet the needs of laboratories as they look to build testing capacity."

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The company added that it will ship nearly 30 million antibody tests across the globe this month, with an additional 60 million next month.

Antibody tests give researchers a better idea of the virus itself, including seeing how the body’s immune system reacts in response to a virus.

Knowing who has the antibodies in their blood could give officials a better understanding of how widespread the virus is, while also giving researches a better understanding of how sick it makes most people, and what happens if people who have had it are exposed for a second time.

Combined with other relevant health information, antibody testing may also help officials determine who can safely return to work once the stay-at-home orders are lifted, as well as who should be considered for blood plasma donation to help those who are critically ill.

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In April, Abbott received EUA for another antibody test, based on a different system. It started shipping 4 million of these tests in the middle of the month, Fox Business previously reported.

Several other COVID-19 antibody tests have popped up in recent weeks, including a $119 test from Quest Diagnostics that can be purchased online.

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Researchers from Northwestern University also developed an antibody test that they say can be completed using only a single drop of dried blood from a finger prick.

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As of Monday morning, more than 4.1 million coronavirus cases have been diagnosed worldwide, more than 1.33 million of which are in the U.S., the most impacted country on the planet.

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Fox News Alexandria Hein contributed to this story.