LabPulse.com Lab Analyzers Insider

Dear Lab Analyzers Insider,

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape for diagnostic testing, and with it the use of lab analyzers.

While the lion's share of attention has been focused on reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection, antigen testing to detect the presence of antibodies to the virus is key to efforts to contain outbreaks.

Antigen tests detect protein or glycanic components of the virus, for example parts of its spike proteins and shielding mechanisms. While the accuracy rates of antigen tests are not as high as those of molecular tests, antigen tests are earning a role in screening because of their cost and portability, according to Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information, a sister company to LabPulse.com.

Carlson reviews the landscape for COVID-19 testing, in particular some of the antigen tests that have received or are likely to receive emergency use authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Carlson sees particular promise in the coming arrival of antigen tests on lab analyzers that can run hundreds of tests per hour.

In fact, the market for COVID-19 antigen tests could reach $10.5 billion annually, according to another Kalorama estimate. This will also drive growing use and sales of lab analyzer instruments to process these tests.

In other news in the Lab Analyzers Community, regulatory approvals have been coming fast and furious for a variety of tests designed to detect SARS-CoV-2 infection, including an RT-PCR assay for saliva specimens, an at-home coronavirus test, and a portable SARS-CoV-2 antigen test.

And learn about how a group from Brigham and Women's Hospital found that changes in C-reactive protein (CRP) in the early days of hospital admission for COVID-19 can pinpoint patients who are at risk of immediate decline.

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