Millions of antibody tests purchased by the british government “cannot be trusted” despite the fact that the Prime minister, Boris Johnson as a ” change of game “.
Doctors are now being asked about the quality of the tests and the real meaning of the results.
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Last month, the government has purchased 10 million test kits with Abbott and Roche after studies from Public Health England have shown that they were effective.
Now, in a letter to the British Medical Journal (BMJ), a group of doctors and academics, clinicians have asserted that there was no clinical reason to be valid for large-scale tests that were carried out.
Baroness Dido Harding, who runs the test program and traceability of the NHS, has stated that the knowledge on the level of protection of these tests were insufficient.
It was then that professor Jon Deeks, who led the first systematic review of studies on antibody tests Covid, said: “We don’t have a lot of data and we can’t be trusted. “
So far in the Uk, more than 43 000 people have died of the virus, but experts say that antibody tests “do not indicate immunity”.
They have stated that the concept of the so-called passport of immunity, which would allow people to work has not yet been established.
The reader in microbial pathogenesis at the University of Bath, Andrew Preston, however, said that the idea of the antibody tests that are used to create the passports of immunity was “attractive”, but stated that their use would be “far away”.
Tests, they say, have been deployed at a pace and on an unprecedented scale without a proper assessment.
What people really want to know of these tests, it is: am I immune from infection?
Before you buy the tests at Roche, the government would have sent out 16 million pounds on tests which are revealed later to be ineffective.
Roche has not revealed the details of the agreement with the United Kingdom.
They also pointed out that there was no performance data to indicate the effectiveness of testing for high-risk patients, such as those of the community BAME or older patients.
The NHS has been pushed to the edge of the abyss due to the pandemic of Covid-19, and experts say that this push to introduce tests non-evidence-based is an “inefficient use of scarce resources”.
“We’d like to see a strategy carefully developed and clearly articulated for the serological tests, with the objectives of the scientific or clinical clear (or both) in the framework of a strategy of unified response Covid-19 “, they said.
It is then that this is perhaps not only the accuracy of the tests, which is worrying.
Sheila Bird, of the College of medicine and veterinary medicine, University of Edinburgh, said that the evaluation of the tests by PHE posed several problems.
She stated that this included the use of replicate samples, the absence of data on sex and age, as well as the quality of the samples.
Roche Diagnostics UK has told the BMJ that they did the tests as a “crucial next step” in order to understand the spread of the virus, adding that the tests would provide greater confidence and greater assurance as the United Kingdom begins the next stages of the pandemic.
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A spokesman for PHE said: “Our assessments have been completed in a record time by using the samples and tests that we have. We are convinced that the volume of the samples and methodology were of a high standard. ”
Al Edwards, an associate professor of biomedical technology at the University of Reading, said: “What the people really want to know of these tests, it is: am I immune from infection?
“These tests, for the moment, can’t reply to this. ”
In a statement to the BMJ, the department of Health and social Affairs said: “We do not know currently how long does an antibody response to the virus, or if the fact of having antibodies means that a person cannot pass it on to others. ”
They added that the testing for antibodies will play an ” increasingly important “.
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