Health Canada approves first test to detect antibodies for COVID-19

14 Mai, 2020, 07:54 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Swiss drugmaker Roche at its headquarters in Basel

More research will also provide knowledge about the relationship between positive tests for antibodies and protection against re-infection.

The test is created to help determine if a patient has been exposed to the virus that causes Covid-19 and whether they have developed antibodies against it.

"If we can establish that antibodies give you immunity, it would mean that you can go back to work safely".

Patients who undergo the test find out whether they have been infected with he virus and if they have developed antibodies against it.

PHE, which conducted an independent evaluation of Roche's antibody test last week, said it found Roche's assay has a specificity of 100%.

UK's Department of Health and Social Care was not immediately available for a Reuters request for comment.

Prof John Newton, national coordinator of the United Kingdom coronavirus testing programme, told the Telegraph that experts at PHE's Porton Down labs had evaluated the test and confirmed the 100% accuracy.

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

"We know that people who are infected will develop some kind of antibody response", Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer said on April. 27., adding that the level of immunity and how long it will last is still in question globally.

"We are delighted that devices are progressing through validation, and are actively working on our plans for rolling out antibody testing and will make announcements in due course".

The test is the first of its kind to be approved in Canada and will help scientists determine whether a person was exposed to COVID-19 and, more importantly, whether or not they still have virus-fighting antibodies in their system.

Roche said in a statement late Wednesday it is in talks with National Health Service and the United Kingdom government about a phased roll-out of antibody test kits as soon as possible. Oxford University was testing several versions of the home antibody tests, which look like pregnancy tests, at the time.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock had earlier said the government was in discussions with the Swiss drugmaker over antibody testing. "Not yet. I very much hope that the science shows that the people who tested positive for having antibodies have a low risk of transmitting the disease and a low risk of catching it".

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