A nurse sanitizes a man’s hands prior to a test at a temporary COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Health Canada approves serological test to detect COVID-19 antibodies

Testing will help inform public health decisions to protect the health of Canadians.

Health Canada says it has authorized the first COVID-19 serological test for use in the country to detect antibodies specific to the virus.

DiaSorin, an Italian multinational biotechnology company, had developed the LIAISON test that was also recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In a statement Tuesday, Health Canada says it will be used in Canadian laboratories to detect COVID-19 antibodies and help contribute to a better understanding of whether people who have been infected are immune to the virus.

Health Canada says further research will also help understand the relationship between positive antibody tests and protection against reinfection.

The Canadian agency says at least one million Canadian blood samples will be collected and tested over the next two years to track the virus in the general population and in specific groups at greater risk of having been infected, including health-care workers and seniors.

“Health Canada will continue to focus on the health and safety of Canadians while expediting supply of safe and effective health products related to COVID-19,” the statement says.

Speaking Wednesday morning, chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam the serology would give a sense of how many Canadians had been infected but did not take a test at the time.

Tam said the two year timespan of testing will give researchers “even more information about how effective are these antibodies are against protecting someone from a second encounter with the virus, and how long this immunity lasts for.”

Tam said Canada is also looking at other countries that have begun serological testing to see what works and what does not.

B.C. has also introduced a serology survey to to help determine immunity across the population

READ MORE: ‘Community immunity’ testing getting closer in B.C.

READ MORE: B.C. sees spike in search and rescue calls ahead of COVID-19 restrictions easing

READ MORE: Feds announce one-time payment of up to $500 for seniors amid pandemic

– with files from Katya Slepian/Black Press Media

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CanadaCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elkford Chamber launches a Youth Chamber Program

The program encourages youth to start their own businesses while developing community connections

Grad Committee donates leftover funds to food bank

Approximately $3,650 was donated to the Salvation Army Food Bank in Fernie

Health care priorities debated following surprise funding announcement

Surprise provincial funding stirs debate on local health care priorities during regional meeting

Fernie treated to a Tiny Concert in the Park

Shred Kelly members Tim Newton and Sage McBride played a live concert for the first time since February

Community groups receive funding through annual CFKR grants

Groups throughout the entire Elk Valley were supported through this year’s round of funding

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Most Read