According to a British media report, the British government plans to launch millions of free coronavirus antibody tests that will give instant results after a fingerprint after successful secret attempts.
The home tests, developed by a Oxford University consortium with diagnostic companies, can determine within 20 minutes whether a person has ever been exposed to the deadly virus and has found 98.6 percent accuracy in human studies conducted in June. & # 39; & # 39; The Daily Telegraph reported.
"This rapid test appears to be truly astonishing and shows that we can do it ourselves," said Sir John Bell, Regius professor of medicine at Oxford, who runs the UK government's antibody testing program.
So far, the only antibody tests approved in the UK have sent blood samples to laboratories for analysis, which can take days. Thousands of prototypes of the new fingerprint have now been made in factories across the UK, pending regulatory approval in the coming weeks, the newspaper said.
Antibody tests are expected to help uncover the immunity that humans can build against COVID-19. So far, however, it is unclear whether the prevalence of coronavirus antibodies means future immunity to the disease.
Ministers hope the AbC-19 cross-flow test will be available for a mass screening program before the end of the year. The new tests were developed by the British Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC), a partnership between Oxford University and British diagnostic companies, including Abingdon Health, based in York.
Dr. Chris Hand, Head of UK-RTC and Chairman of Abingdon Health, announced that the new UK-made test last month passed its first major clinical trial involving nearly 300 people and was carried out by researchers from the University of Ulster.
"It was found to be 98.6 percent accurate, and that's very good news," said Dr. Hand of newspaper.
"We had two shifts of research and development staff working day and night seven days a week. This type of development program would normally take a year. We did it in 10 weeks. We are now working with our partners to produce each one Month hundreds of thousands of cans, "he said.
According to government plans, the tests will first be distributed to health professionals before being made available to millions of people at home who will then send their results to a central database.
"If the coronavirus is like the flu and people need an annual vaccine, we need to do mass antibody testing to measure people's antibody response to this vaccine. That is part of the plan," said Dr. Hand.
Unlike many other competitors, the UK RTC version uses the full-length spike protein portion of the virus to capture so-called IgG antibodies while the blood goes through the home test. If the result is positive, two pink lines appear within 20 minutes.
A spokesman for the UK Department of Health and Social Affairs said: "We have received an exceptional response to our call to action to do antibody testing, and we continue to work with industry to identify further tests that are safe and accurate for use "While these tests will help us better understand how the coronavirus spreads across the country, we still don't know if antibodies indicate immunity to reinfection or transmission."
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)