Real world data on COVID-19 antibody tests – we ain’t there yet

We’ve talked here about the problems and limitations of antibody tests. We’ve seen others discuss it. And a primer on the mathematical whys and wherefores is available here.

Today some pre-publication data on a variety of US antibody tests were released, and they aren’t great–and they illustrate precisely the problems discussed above:

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Bayes’ Theorem for people who don’t remember much high school math

Yesterday, I posted a link to a great discussion about COVID-19 testing, and the various types of tests that do or will exist, and their strengths/weaknesses.

It can strike many people as strange that doctors’ tests aren’t 100% accurate. (It even surprises some doctors!) No test is perfect.

But, not only are tests not perfect, but even a test that sounds like its very accurate can be misleading if used under the wrong conditions.

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