A letter from academics and clinicians raises concerns about the efficiency of the tests, the scientific thinking for them and the cost.
The very first phase of the Federal government’s programme for the tests, which can tell whether an individual has had the disease in the past, will examine health workers.
Clinicians will likewise have the ability to request the tests for patients in both healthcare facility and social care settings if they think it is appropriate.
” There is no specific scientific sign for the test on a specific basis,” the group of experts composed in a letter published in The BMJ.
” Second of all, the performance of these assays has not yet been evaluated to the standard normally needed of an unique test. And finally, the resource implications are not considered.”
They said that a positive or unfavorable test outcome would not alter the management of a client and included that a positive result “does not show immunity”.
” The principle of ‘immune passports,’ allowing health care workers or others to work, has not been established.
” Those with a positive antibody test need to still consider themselves at risk and follow infection control policies created to avoid nosocomial spread and threat of infection.
” There is, for that reason, no benefit to healthcare organisations or to others in understanding the status of employees at present.”
They likewise raised concerns about the “unproved performance” of the tests, adding: “The assay is being presented at an extraordinary rate and scale without appropriate assessment, possibly compromising public rely on pathology services in the future.”
The letter adds: “NHS England requires the result to be available in 24 hours. Given that routine testing of clients is neither clinically urgent nor meets a clear public health requirement, this push to introduce a non-evidence based test for unsure gains threats ineffective usage of limited resources.”
The Federal government site states: “While the results of an antibody test will not allow people to make any modifications to their behaviour, such as reducing social distancing steps, there’s clear worth in knowing whether NHS and care workers and hospital patients and care home locals have actually had the virus, and in collecting information on the test results.”
A spokesman for Roche Diagnostics UK told The BMJ: “We are presenting antibody tests to the NHS as part of the vital next step in comprehending the spread of this infection, and providing higher self-confidence and peace of mind as we move into the next stage of our response to this pandemic.”
A Public Health England representative said: “Our evaluations have actually been completed in record time using the samples and tests that were readily available to us. We are confident that the volume of samples and approach was of a high requirement.”
In a declaration to The BMJ, the Department of Health and Social Care stated: “We do not presently know how long an antibody reaction to the virus lasts, nor whether having antibodies indicates a person can not transfer it to others.”
But the spokesman repeated that antibody testing “will play a significantly important role as we move into the next stage of our reaction to this pandemic”.