Rapid Antibody Tests: The Practical Option for UK Businesses
The UK government has announced that it is now endorsing the Roche serology antibody blood test as a way of detecting if you have had COVID-19 and are now carrying the antibodies. This test requires a hospital or clinic visit with your blood specimen taken by venepuncture from the arm being sent to a lab before results come back. It has 100% specificity – in other words it is correct when it says that you aren’t carrying antibodies that show you’ve had the virus. It has a tiny chance (99.8%) that it will pick up other coronaviruses to give a false reading. But the government is not planning to roll this out to the general public or businesses yet – it is only going to be used on medical and key workers.
In contrast, rapid antibody tests such as the MEDsan rapid kit are available for UK businesses now and are performed by a self-administered finger-prick test. MEDsan’s rapid antibody test has a reported 100% specificity i.e. the German manufacturer has guaranteed it can tell that you are not carrying antibodies; it doesn’t give false negatives. The MEDsan test has a reported 96.88% sensitivity level which relates to there being a very small chance that whilst it says you’re carrying COVID-19, you’re actually carrying another coronavirus such as the common cold.
As UK businesses look to get their employees back to work safely, rapid antibody testing is the only practical option in which to test workforces for the virus. A serology antibody test, such as Roche’s, needs to be undertaken in a hospital or clinic and results delivered through a laboratory. This is not a realistic option for businesses who need to test a large number of employees on a regular basis. Rapid antibody tests, such as MEDsan’s can be undertaken at work or at home, with the results appearing within ten minutes.
MEDsan UK’s rapid antibody test is manufactured in Germany by SanPharma – a well-respected business producing diagnostics and medical devices for over 40 years. The laboratory has demonstrated a sensitivity of more than 96% and specificity of 100%. MEDsan have received over 30 million orders from over 20 countries globally for the COVID-19 rapid tests including the USA, Germany, Spain and Italy.
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