An internal review sheds new light on what went wrong with the first COVID tests distributed by the CDC during the early days of the pandemic.
Previous investigations said contamination was the major reason tests shipped to health labs in early 2020 produced inconclusive reports and false positives.
But the CDC's internal review published in Plos ONE says a design flaw also caused problems with the testing kits.
The test kits were designed to detect the virus with primers, which bind to and copy targeted sequences, and with probes that emit a fluorescent signal when copies are made, The New York Times reported. The fluorescent signal means the virus's genetic material is present.
The probes and primers were not supposed to touch or bind to each other, but that happened sometimes in the faulty kits. And this created the false positives, The New York Times said.
By early February 2020, the CDC admitted the tests weren't working and redesigned them with the help of outside laboratories, The New York Times said.
"Since the rollout of the initial Covid-19 test, C.D.C. has implemented corrective measures and remains dedicated to the highest quality laboratory science and safety," the CDC said in a statement.
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