Swiss drug maker Roche said the new test, which determines whether someone has ever had an infection, was 100% accurate at detecting antibodies in the blood and 99.8% accurate at excluding their presence.
The company said the test requires intravenous blood samples, with higher accuracy than finger prick tests.
“If you take blood on a finger prick, you can never achieve the same level of specificity that you will get … when you take blood in the vein,” said Thomas Schinecker, the company’s diagnostic manager.
“You have to have a very, very high specificity. Even 0.1% or 0.2% makes the difference. “
Schinecker said testing is an important step in determining if someone can have immunity, but acknowledged that more research is needed to determine if antibodies protect people from re-infection.
“Since this virus is not well known, we can speculate, but the proof will take longer,” said Schinecker. “Testing these people … is essential to see if people have really developed immunity.”
With post wires