Coronavirus Antibody Finger Prick Test Useless: Researchers

THURSDAY, April 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A home-administered finger prick test that was viewed by many as a possible coronavirus pandemic breakthrough is not accurate enough to be of any use, British researchers say.

The test was designed to detect antibodies to the new coronavirus. The presence of those antibodies would show that a person had the coronavirus in the past and had built up immunity to it, NBC News reported.

There was great optimism about the test among governments and businesses, but these new results have deflated those hopes.

"Sadly, the tests we have looked at to date have not performed well," Sir John Bell, the Oxford University professor leading the tests for the British government, wrote in a blog post Sunday, NBC News reported. "We see many false negatives ... and we also see false positives."

The British government ordered millions of the kits and now wants refunds.

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