British firm 'develops saliva test that detects Covid in just 15 minutes'

A BRITISH firm claims to have developed a saliva test that detects Covid in just 15 minutes.

Vatic says its KnowNow test is accurate and more comfortable for users.

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It uses a swab that collects saliva from the side of the cheek, rather than up the nose.

And it only looks for infectious virus, rather than leftover fragments from an old infection.

Chief executive Alex Sheppard said this makes it “totally different to anything else out there”.

A preliminary in-house study using 200 tests did not return any false positive results.

But it still needs regulatory approval and must be subjected to a proper clinical trial next year.

Mr Sheppard told Sky News: "This is a product that is invented, designed, and manufactured in the UK.

“The chemistry behind the test essentially renders the test as an infectiousness test, because what we're detecting is only the infectious virus – we can't detect non-infectious viruses.”

Other lateral flow tests, which are like a pregnancy test, are already being used for Covid.

Experts at Public Health England and Oxford University say they are not as accurate as lab tests.


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