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Novel Study on Performance of Coronavirus Tests in Children Presented at 2021 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 30 Sep 2021
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The findings of a novel study on the performance of coronavirus tests in children were presented at the 2021 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo.

A team of researchers from the University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada) set out to investigate the accuracy of coronavirus antigen and antibody tests in a pediatric population. The aim was to overcome the problem of the majority of FDA-authorized coronavirus tests being validated primarily using data from adults, meaning that these tests might not be as accurate in pediatric patients, thus posing a key challenge with COVID-19 care.

The researchers tested 140 asymptomatic children and adolescents (ages 5 to 18) with a coronavirus antigen test and an antibody test. From this, they found that the tests’ performance in pediatric individuals was on par with the tests’ performance in adults. All of the antigen test results were negative, which was in keeping with the fact that all study participants were asymptomatic. Furthermore, all of the study participants (3%) who had positive antibody test results had also previously tested positive for the coronavirus in the past.

“A lot of the literature focuses on adults right now, and our study has been one of the few to go into the community and see the performance of these tests in asymptomatic school children and adolescents,” said Mary Kathryn Bohn, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, who led the research. “These types of studies will be really important, especially as the school year starts.”

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