Professor John Newton, national coordinator of the UK coronavirus testing programme, has released a statement warning against the use of unapproved antibody testing kits for COVID-19.
Professor Newton points out that there are no tests currently in existence shown to be effective and that consumers should be wary of companies attempting to sell such tests. In his statement, Professor Newton said:
“Right now, however, these antibody tests are brand new and still in development. No country in the world has yet found an antibody test reliable enough to work as a back-to-work diagnostic, but the UK is leading the way in this emerging area of science and technology, and companies and scientists are doing everything they can to improve the accuracy of the tests on the market. As soon as we have found a test that works for this purpose, we will be in a position to roll them out across the country as a back-to-work test.
“In the meantime, I advise organisations, both in the public and private sector, against the use of antibody tests that have not been verified in a laboratory setting: and none have. The results of an inaccurate test are potentially misleading and can put people at risk of contracting the disease and transmitting it to others. The Chief Medical Officer has also said he strongly discourages the use of unvalidated tests and that, for now, the social distancing guidelines continue apply to everyone.”
Read Professor Newton’s full statement here.