Sonora Quest Laboratories is working to fight the spread of coronavirus in Arizona.
On Friday, the diagnostic laboratory testing company announced it will begin offering antibody testing for COVID-19 using blood specimens. With this new offering, Sonora Quest now provides healthcare providers in Arizona access to a COVID-19 antibody test as well as the molecular diagnostic testing that has been offered since mid-March.
“Antibody testing can be a game-changer in our fight against COVID-19,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “Sonora Quest has continually innovated to make increased testing available to Arizonans. This is another welcome expansion that will help provide certainty as Arizona looks to economic recovery at the appropriate time.”
Beginning Friday, April 24, physicians will be able to prescribe, collect and route COVID-19 antibody testing specimens to Sonora Quest for testing. Additionally, patients can schedule an appointment at one of the 20+ Sonora Quest Patient Service Centers that have dedicated resources for COVID-19 antibody testing collection. Appointments should be scheduled in advance online at SonoraQuest.com/antibody and require a physician’s test order.
Patients being collected in a Sonora Quest Patient Service Center must be without symptoms and fever for at least 10 days to have the most reliable test results, and in following the CDC’s safety guidelines, wear a face mask.
The antibody testing will be performed at Sonora Quest’s core laboratory in Tempe, and they expect to perform 1,000 – 3,000 tests per day initially, then continue to scale up testing capacity on the antibody platform. Sonora Quest turnaround time to report antibody test results is one to four days from specimen collection, depending on demand. Additionally, starting in early May, Sonora Quest plans to begin offering antibody testing through their direct-to-consumer My Lab ReQuestTM solution, where consumers can receive testing without a provider’s order or insurance in Arizona.
Sonora Quest’s antibody offering uses a test kit developed by EUROIMMUN, a PerkinElmer company, that has been marketed under U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease-2019. Sonora Quest has completed independent validation studies on this testing. The test aids in detecting the presence of immunoglobulin G (IgG). IgG antibody response typically develops between 10-14 days after symptom onset. According to the FDA, COVID-19 antibody testing may indicate that “the person has been exposed to the virus and developed antibodies against it, which may mean that person has at least some immunity to the coronavirus.” Antibody testing uses blood serum specimens and is sometimes referred to as serology testing.
“As the FDA has indicated, antibody testing has the potential to help healthcare professionals identify people who have been exposed to COVID-19 and may have developed an immune response,” said Brian Mochon, PhD, D(ABMM), Scientific Medical Director, Infectious Diseases Division for Sonora Quest. “In addition, the 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 COVID-19.”