The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said it is coordinating with the World Health Organization (WHO) about an antigen test kit included in the WHO emergency use listing but failed the local validation on sensitivity.
“The SD Bio Sensor is the first antigen test kit that has been validated by Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), and, yes, it’s true it didn’t meet the diagnostic performance we have set based on the recommendation of the WHO which should be all antigen test kits must have 80 percent sensitivity and 90 percent specificity,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire during a virtual media forum on Wednesday.
Vergeire said the SD Bio Sensor, an antigen test kit from South Korea, has only 71 percent sensitivity based on the validation conducted by the RITM.
“So now, we’re studying this and having discussions with WHO what must be the steps since it did not pass the local validation on sensitivity but it was approved as an emergency use product in (by) the WHO,” she said.
Apart from the pilot test on antigen test kits, Vergeire said the RITM is also studying saliva testing for Covid-19.
“There are two things about saliva. One is saliva is used as specimen instead of the nasopharyngeal and the oropharyngeal specimens, meron namang isa na itinutuloy na nila sa pagte-test (there’s another one where they continue on with the test), so, you call it saliva testing,” she said.
She said the Philippine Red Cross is already conducting a trial using saliva as specimen.
“So dalawang institutions ang gumagawa ngayon ng pag-aaral dito sa (So two institutions are now already conducting studies on this) saliva testing as a possible specimen for testing for Covid-19,” she said. “Aside from that we still don’t have other studies.”
Source: Philippines News Agency