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First Coronavirus Antibody Test Approved By Public Health England

First Coronavirus Antibody Test Approved By Public Health England

A new test to find out if people have already been infected with coronavirus has been approved by Public Health England, who say it has a "100 per cent" accuracy.

The health body conducted an independent evaluation of the antibody test, developed by Swiss pharmaceutical company, Roche.

The blood test searches for antibodies to determine if a person has already had the virus without knowing. This in turn may suggest they have some immunity.

A lab technician hols antibody test Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 in the Roche development lab (Credit: PA)
A lab technician hols antibody test Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 in the Roche development lab (Credit: PA)
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Professor John Newton, national coordinator of the UK coronavirus testing programme, said: "This is a very positive development because such a highly specific antibody test is a very reliable marker of past infection.

"This in turn may indicate some immunity to future infection, although the extent to which the presence of antibodies indicates immunity remains unclear."

Scientists examining the blood test - named Anti-SARS-CoV-2- called it "highly specific" with a 100 per cent accuracy.

"This is a very positive development because such a highly specific antibody test is a very reliable marker of past infection," Prof Newton continued.

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"This in turn may indicate some immunity to future infection although the extent to which the presence of antibodies indicates immunity remains unclear."

Antibody tests can check if someone has had the virus, so may have immunity (Credit: PA)
Antibody tests can check if someone has had the virus, so may have immunity (Credit: PA)
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While the presence of antibodies may indicate some immunity, scientists are still unsure how much protection they give against future infections, and for how long.

Reliable tests may help speed up the ease of lockdown measures, as people with immunity can be confident about going back to work and out into society without fear of infection.

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Up until now, the government have been unable to find an antibody test with enough reliability, reportedly previously spending £16million on tests that proved to be ineffective.

While we're still a long way off to beating this thing, at least this is one huge step in the right direction.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Life News, Health

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Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance writer working for Tyla. After graduating with an English Lit and Media degree from the University of Sussex, Ciara held jobs at GLAMOUR and Yahoo Style before packing up for a solo travelling trip around South America.