Alberta in final stages of validating serology tests to detect COVID-19 antibodies

Serology tests, which detect whether someone has antibodies to COVID-19, are one step closer to being rolled out across Alberta.

According to Alberta Health Services, Alberta Precision Laboratories is in the final stages of validating multiple serology tests, including one that was the first of its kind to be approved by Health Canada on Tuesday.

Those validations are expected to be completed by Thursday; a serology advisory group will also meet Thursday to discuss the next steps for the test.

AHS said that, while there is no definitive timeline on when widespread testing will be made available for all Albertans, an initial serological strategy could be in place by the end of the month. A national task force is also providing guidance on the appropriate use of serology.

Dr. Craig Jenne, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Calgary, said the test is a tool to provide insight into the virus and its spread.

“The immunity task force that was formed just a short while ago has been really active in trying to accelerate and prioritize these tests so we can use them to determine, across the population, an estimation of Canadians that have been infected in different places or different age groups or different risk populations,” Tam said.

Health Canada said that it would be using the LIAISON test, which is developed by Italian biotech company DiaSorin and was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

-With files from Heather Yourex-West

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