Fujifilm has developed a highly sensitive and rapid Covid-19 antigen test kit using its proprietary silver amplification immunochromatography (or lateral flow) method. This technology, used in the photo-developing process, enhances the sensitivity of test results by detecting the virus at an early stage and with relatively low levels of viral load.
The sensitivity of the Fujifilm antigen test has the potential to reduce both false negatives and false positives, providing a reliable, accurate result even in non-symptomatic and asymptomatic test subjects. The reduction in false negatives is achieved by the highly sensitive test detecting early stages of infection and those who are asymptomatic, meaning test subjects can immediately self-isolate to protect the wider community.
Whilst a reduction in false negatives helps to prevent further infections, a reduction in false positives also has a significant impact on society. If a false positive result is received, not only that individual but also a wide circle of family, colleagues, fellow pupils or students and other contacts will be required to isolate. The economic, educational and social consequences this has is substantial, and as we start to lift lockdown public trust in the testing system will be important to ensure compliance with isolation requirements.
The Fujifilm lateral flow test kit uses nasopharyngeal swab samples which can be performed within the community as well as clinical settings. This enables a faster result than laboratory tests, with the Fujifilm antigen kits providing results in just 10-13 minutes. Fujifilm introduced their silver amplification technology for antigen testing in 2011 with the IMMUNO AG analyser (which offers highly sensitive testing for influenza, RS virus and adenovirus) and has now developed the technology to detect the presence of Covid-19.
“Our new Covid-19 lateral flow test is fast and simple to use” said Katherine John, IVD Business Manager, FUJIFILM UK. “As society opens up from lockdown testing will be commonplace not only in healthcare and education, but across many sectors including travel, hospitality, culture, sport and events. It’s important that the testing solutions available to these industries are reliable and accurate, and our antigen test has proven to be highly sensitive even at relatively low viral load.”