Coronavirus: The Commission Joint Research Centre releases new reference materials for the quality control of COVID-19 antibody tests

Today, the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has released two new reference materials, which they have developed as quality assurance tools for COVID-19 antibody tests. These antibody tests verify whether an individual has previously been infected by the virus. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “The correct functioning of antibody tests is particularly important in epidemiological investigations to describe the prevalence of the infection and in research on immunity against COVID-19. The reference material developed by the JRC is another piece of the puzzle that can support these efforts.” The reference materials enable laboratories to check whether the antibody tests in use are functioning correctly. In practice, if the laboratories are able to measure the antibodies against COVID-19 present in the reference material, they are also able to measure the antibodies formed against the virus in human blood. The reference materials are also a first step in ensuring that the results obtained with various tests are comparable. They can also support research on immunity against the virus and help monitor the efficiency of experimental vaccines. Further information is available here.