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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Are Coronavirus Antibody Tests Useful? Cleveland Clinic Researcher Says No

a photo of antibody test kit
DANIELFOSTER437
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CREATIVE COMMONS
Antibody tests measure the immune system's response to the coronavirus.

Ohio is now allowing nasal swab testing for anyone who might have COVID-19, not just those with severe symptoms.

Some labs are also offering a blood test for people who think they might have had a mild case of the disease.

This antibody test measures the body’s immune response to the coronavirus.

But the head of Cleveland Clinic’s coronavirus testing lab says these antibody tests are largely useless.

Kamran Kadkhoda says the blood tests for COVID-19 are highly inaccurate and misleading.

“And they just give a truckload of caveats on the report and put the onus on the physician or patient to interpret that, but that’s not really the best way of doing it. This is not in my opinion a good laboratory medicine practice," Kadkhoda said. 

Kadkhoda says the Cleveland Clinic is not offering antibody testing.

He says it’s only use as a public health tool is in vaccine development, not for individuals wanting to know if they had COVID-19.