CORONAVIRUS: Scientists in Edinburgh announce the development of a ‘Fast and accurate’ antibody test

A NEW ‘fast and accurate’ coronavirus antibody test has been developed by scientists in Edinburgh.

Researchers for blood-screening company Quotient have developed a new test for whether people are immune to Covid-19 by spotting whether a person has developed antibodies to the disease.

Each machine has the capacity for up to 3,000 tests a day and produces results in 35 minutes with 99.8 per cent accuracy, the firm said.

The company says it has 12 screening machines available, with a further 20 expected to be ready by the end of the year, but it has already had talks with interested parties across Europe. The machines produce results in 35 minutes.

While the UK government says it has laboratory capability to test for coronavirus immunity, it is currently being used for survey testing of existing blood samples, and the capacity is not known.

It is also attempting to develop home testing kits, rather than requiring analysis in laboratories, but so far these have proved unreliable. The tests aim to establish whether a person has developed antibodies to the Covid-19 virus, usually after being infected by the disease, and is therefore immune from being infected again.

“The Scottish government is working closely with the UK government to ensure that everyone is able to access new antibody tests when they become available. It is essential that any new tests are reliable, and time is needed to undertake rigorous evaluation so that there is confidence that tests are accurate.”

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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