UCHealth begins offering FDA authorized antibody tests

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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — As the demand for antibody tests are on the rise, the need for accurate testing is vital. 

Antibody tests are tests that are able to indicate if you had a case of COVID-19.

“Vaccinations cause your body to develop antibodies to whatever it is you’re being vaccinated for,” said UCHealth Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Richard Zane.

The CDC warns about the accuracy of tests as private companies flood the market to meet the demand.

Testing for antibodies are based on two things: sensitivity and specificity.

“One hundred percent sensitive tests means you never have a false negative,” Zane said. “Specificity means when the test is positive, is it truly positive.”

But because of a lack of research, a positive test for coronavirus antibodies doesn’t guarantee immunity from getting the virus a second time.

“Regardless of if you have antibodies or not, you should not change your behavior,” Zane said. “You should still keep your distance, wear your mask when appropriate, wash your hands meticulously.”

The Food and Drug Administration has granted what’s called Emergency Use Authorization for about a dozen tests, including ones used by UCHealth. The hospital now has drive-up antibody testing available for those who download the MyHealthConnection app and make an appointment. 

“The test that UCHealth is running is more than 98 percent sensitive, and 98 percent specific. In fact, it’s almost 100 percent specific. So we are running a test that is almost perfect,” Zane said.

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