National Recommendations for COVID-19 Antibody (Serology) Testing published in CMAJ

Date: Aug 4, 2020

HALIFAX – The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists (CSCC), the national scientific and professional society which provides leadership in the practice of clinical biochemistry, is pleased to announce the publication of “SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Serology: Implications for Clinical Practice, Laboratory Medicine, and Public Health” in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). VIEW ARTICLE This narrative review represents a snapshot of the current scientific and clinical knowledge regarding SARS-CoV-2 serological testing and its implications for best care and testing strategies for Canadians. This report is the result of a collaborative, pan-Canadian venture of five national organizations at the forefront of Canadian healthcare response to the pandemic. These include the CSCC, the Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network, the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada, the Canadian Association for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, and Canada’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force.

Dr. Dana Bailey, a clinical biochemist from Dynacare and one of the article’s corresponding authors explains, “Serological testing involves detection of antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 found in blood, serum, or plasma. There has been growing interest in the use of this testing beyond acute clinical care, however the evolving evidence counsels caution if considering adoption of this testing to conclude who has or has not been infected, or who is immune. On the other hand, serological testing can be a useful tool to understand changes in COVID-19 cases in Canadian populations over time.” Guidance for interpreting serology testing results as well as implications for practitioners and policy makers are outlined in the publication.

“The scope of collaboration among laboratory, public health, clinical, and federal groups on such an important topic underscores the unified approach towards evidence-based adoption of COVID-19 antibody testing across the country,” notes Dr. Danijela Konforte, CSCC Division Head of Professional Affairs. This partnership highlights the crucial role that Clinical (Bio)Chemists play in healthcare teams across Canada.

The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists (CSCC) is a national scientific and professional society representing clinical biochemists across Canada. It provides leadership in the practice of clinical biochemistry and clinical laboratory medicine through service, education and research. The Society establishes standards for diagnostic services and serves as a resource to government, industry and healthcare associations, in the interest of the general public. For more information:

Twitter:@CSCC_CACB @LBeachBiochem (Public Outreach); Facebook:@CSCCpage

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