In May this year, the MHRA instructed laboratories supplying COVID-19 Finger-prick Antibody tests to pause testing whilst further validation tests were carried out on the method. Whilst Blue Horizon agreed to pause testing, this caused problems for many home users who could not readily find a nurse to take blood with a venous blood draw, or were unwilling to risk the extra social contact this would have entailed.
Blue Horizon are now able to offer a new quantitative finger-prick test, representing a premium SARS-CoV-2 assay. This tests the strength of immune reaction of both IgG and IgM antibodies, giving each a numeric value and was developed by Professor Sebastian Johnston, Dr Michael Edwards and their team at Virtus Respiratory Research Ltd who have not only verified the accuracy of finger-prick capillary vs venous samples to be 100% but have also acquired CE marking for their kit and their test as a whole, thereby following the relevant guidance.
“Whilst we had no doubt about the accuracy of finger-prick blood samples before, our partnership with Virtus enables us to offer finger-prick coronavirus antibody testing again”. Says Dr Johnson of Blue Horizon Blood Tests, “This enables us to supply home and workplace users with COVID-19 Antibody test kits without the requirement of a nurse to acquire the sample.”
Professor Johnston, of Virtus, states “This COVID-19 test uses the S1 Spike Protein instead of the more widely used nucleoprotein – we would therefore expect 10-15% of users that may have tested negative on a nucleoprotein based test to test positive on ours”. He goes on to say that “because it tests both IgG and IgM antibodies we would expect a significant proportion of people who might or did test negative on an IgG only test to be IgM positive on this test – any antibody positive test to this virus is a sign of a memory immune response to the virus, which is bound to be a good thing”. – indeed it is Professor Sebastian Johnston’s firm belief, based on previous literature with seasonal coronavirus infections and his 30+ years of experience researching respiratory virus infections, that presence of a memory immune response to this virus is clear evidence of a significant degree of protection from the virus on future exposure.
The test is available now through Blue Horizon blood tests Covid-19 Finger-prick antibody test for home use