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Evaluating detection of SARS-CoV-2: Antibodies at Home study (EDSAB-HOME)

The EDSAB-HOME study was designed to evaluate the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using home testing kits detecting antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These kits are called lateral flow immunoassays. They are similar to a pregnancy test kit, and analyse a small amount of blood obtained from a finger prick. 

The study is being run by Public Health England at the request of the Department of Health and Social Care. Recruitment has now ceased, but the study is ongoing. Over 3,100 people volunteered for the EDSAB-HOME study, and over 2,800 individuals attended study clinics in June 2020. We are very grateful for their contribution, following which various pieces of work are ongoing. 

Two mask-wearing women sitting on sofa waiting for results of covid home test


What we have learned so far

The study team have confirmed the accuracy of SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests, for example: 

  • lateral flow tests detecting antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 work much better if high levels of antibodies are present; 
  • people with higher levels of T cells recognising SARS-CoV-2 are protected from COVID-19; 
  • personal belief in past COVID-19 illness is not necessarily reliable; 
  • dried blood spot testing is substantially less sensitive than testing on liquid blood samples. 

Find out more about the project on the study website.

Funder

Public Health England

Lead researcher

  • Prof. Isabel Oliver (Public Health England)