Quest Diagnostics, Secaucus, NJ, has begun to perform antibody testing for covid-19 using blood samples. With this new service, Quest Diagnostics now provides healthcare providers in the United States access to covid-19 antibody as well as molecular diagnostic laboratory testing.

Jay G. Wohlgemuth, MD, Quest Diagnostics.

Jay G. Wohlgemuth, MD, Quest Diagnostics.

The new Quest Diagnostics antibody service uses tests developed for high-throughput lab environments. Initially, Quest is providing the service based on tests from Abbott and Euroimmun, a PerkinElmer company. Quest Diagnostics has completed independent validation studies on both tests. Both tests aid in detecting the presence of immunoglobulin class G, which typically develops by 14 days after symptom onset. In addition, Quest also continues to pursue other platforms that could enable it to increase testing capacity further.

“As FDA has indicated, antibody testing has the potential to help healthcare professionals identify people who have been exposed to covid-19 and who have developed an immune response,” says Jay G. Wohlgemuth, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Quest Diagnostics. “In addition, FDA has indicated that antibody testing can help identify those who could contribute a part of their blood, called convalescent plasma, which may provide an avenue for possible treatment for those who are seriously ill from the coronavirus.”

Quest expects to scale up testing over the coming weeks. Laboratory capacity is expected to expand to approximately 150,000 tests per day by early May, and Quest expects results to be reported within 1 to 2 days from specimen collection, depending on demand. The testing will be performed in more than 20 Quest Diagnostics laboratories across the United States.

For more information, visit Quest Diagnostics.