Public Health England (PHE) said last week that scientific experts at its Porton Down facility had carried out an independent evaluation of a new antibody blood test developed by Swiss pharmaceutical company, Roche.
Professor John Newton, national co-ordinator of the UK coronavirus testing programme, said although it was still unclear to what extent the presence of antibodies indicates immunity to COVID-19, it was still a “very positive” development.
Professor Newton added: “Scientific experts at PHE Porton Down carried out an independent evaluation of the new Roche Sars-CoV-2 serology assay in record time, concluding that it is a highly specific assay with specificity of 100 percent.
“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.”