PHE worked with the University of Oxford to collect and analyse 536 samples taken from adults with laboratory-confirmed infections more than 20 days after the onset of Covid-19 symptoms. They also tested 994 research specimens taken between 2015 and 2018. Immunoassays from Siemens, Abbott, DiaSorin and Roche were then used to analyse the samples.
While all four tests were able to meet PHE’s specificity criterion of ≥98%, only the Siemens test was able to meet the sensitivity criterion of ≥98%, with a sensitivity of 98.1%. In contrast, the sensitivity of the other tests ranged from 92.7% to 97.2%, meaning they were more likely to deliver a false positive. None of the tests performed as well as they did in company-run studies.
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