Bad Tests


Anchor lead: As many as half the tests available for Sars-CoV2 may not provide reliable results, Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you get tested for COVID-19, whether you suspect you might be infected or have been in the past, can you trust the results? An analysis in the British Medical Journal says maybe not, as many assays for antibodies are flawed and may provide either false negative or false positive results. Patricia Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, comments.

Davidson: We’ve seen many examples where going too fast, not adhering to best practices has caught us short. We’ve even seen that in the scientific world, where in the race to get information out people haven’t looked at the quality of data and engaged in normal controls.  The number of assays out there is of concern because we know that the free market will sell these to people perhaps who have less capacity to discern them.   :31

Davidson is especially concerned about low and middle income countries, where these types of substandard tests are very difficult to detect and remove from the market. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.