Health Canada says it has authorized the first COVID-19 serological test for use in the country to detect specific antibodies to the virus.
DiaSorin, an Italian multinational biotechnology company, developed the LIAISON test which was also recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Health Canada said it will be used in Canadian laboratories to detect COVID-19 antibodies and contribute to a better understanding of whether people who have been infected are immune to the virus.
Health Canada says new research will also help to 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 in the next two years to screen for the virus in the general population and in specific groups most at risk of being infected, including healthcare professionals and the elderly.
He says the test will help inform public health decisions to protect Canadians' health.
"Health Canada will continue to focus on the health and safety of Canadians, while streamlining the supply of safe and effective health products related to COVID-19," the statement said.