Serology testing could help determine if someone is immune to COVID-19

Published: Apr. 23, 2020 at 7:28 AM CDT
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While the state's primary focus is on targeting and treating positive COVID-19 cases, it also wants to know who's already had the virus.

KCCI reports that serology testing, or antibody testing, checks to see if a person's body has built up immunity to the virus.

The testing is as easy as a finger prick and waiting for a dish to change color. But, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Iowa says because many companies are offering these tests, the accuracy can vary substantially.

"We don't even know if the tests are good," Dr. Stanley Perlman said. "With bad tests it's even worse. (We) don't know if people with positive tests are really positive. People who have negative tests are really negative. So it's so key to have a good test."

Dr. Caitlin Pedati says there is still much to learn about COVID-19 and how long someone can be immune. The state plans to offer serology testing at two lab sites one in Coralville, and another in Ames once supplies and staff are available.