A UK laboratory has developed a testing kit that can detect the signs of a coronavirus infection in a person’s blood. The test can give out results in just 15 minutes.
The Warrington company describes the finger-prick test as “fast and accurate” and says that it can be used by an individual or a company health professional.
How it works
A droplet of blood is extracted using a small finger-prick device and placed on a testing unit. The test can detect the presence of two different antibodies that are associated with a coronvirus infection.
Immunoglobulin M (or IgM) indicates recent exposure to the virus. Another more specialised antibody called IgG suggests a more advanced infection. A major advantage of this type of test is that it can detect an infection even if the person shows minimal or no symptoms.
The company also point out that the test is more pleasant than the nasopharyngeal method used widely elsewhere.
Although the rapid antibody test can be purchased by the general public, the manufacturers are targeting companies that are looking to screen their workforce. A company spokesperson said:
“Recent studies suggest that a high percentage of patients show no clinical symptoms, which is why the spread of coronavirus is creating major logistical and operational problems for businesses, with no way of predicting how long the pandemic will last or the impact it will have.
“Human resources teams are having to deal with the physical and emotional concerns of their staff while continuing to perform their duties in this climate of uncertainty.
“Immediate results are essential if employees need to be isolated or quarantined.”
You can find more information about coronavirus testing here. You can find official advice and support about coronavirus on the NHS website and the government website.