Ct value for the SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assay

kevin king made this Freedom of Information request to Public Health England

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Dear Public Health England,
Could you please give me detailed information of the RT-PCR assays that are being used by the PHE laboratories across the country?
In particular I would like to know the cycle threshold values that are being used for each laboratory where the RT-PCR assays are being conducted.

With reference to page 20 of this document
https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/w...
it appears the number of cycles mentioned in the protocol is 45.
Can you confirm this?

This request is made under the Freedom of Information Act and I politely request that this request is expedited due to the importance of the information being requested.

Yours faithfully,

kevin king

FOI, Public Health England

1 Attachment

Dear Kevin King,

Please find attached Public Health England's response to your request.

FOI Team
Public Accountability Unit
Public Health England
[Public Health England request email]
Tel: 020 8327 6920
www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE uk

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Dear Public Health England,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Public Health England's handling of my FOI request 'Ct value for the SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assay'.

The response refers me to the page here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

which only partially addresses the specific information asked for in the request,which was in two parts
Part 1
Could you please give me detailed information of the RT-PCR assays that
are being used by the PHE laboratories across the country?
In particular I would like to know the cycle threshold values that are being
used for each laboratory where the RT-PCR assays are being conducted
[The response said this information is not held centrally. If not how can I get a hold of it? This is very important as every centre must be using a calibrated ct value that is transparent to the public.Just saying it is not held centrally is not good enough. This is a matter of enormous importance to the well being of millions of our citizens. ie that they can be assured the tests being used are valid.]
Part 2
Can you confirm that all PHE laboratories and NHS laboratories that have
been conducting RT-PCR testing have performed the type of calibration
mentioned here (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article...) to determine the Ct value above which the RT-PCR test can
no longer detect any viral product?
If not can you tell me what the Ct values for each and every laboratory are and
how they have been determined?
The reference given in the response here (https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...) is not what I asked for. This merely describes a procedure for how to use the RT-PCR test when there is a low prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the population.
I was requesting the detailed information for how the Ct value has been calibrated by EACH laboratory as was done here (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article...) by The Méditerranée Infection University Hospital Institute in Marseille. In other words I am asking for the papers from each of the laboratories PROVING this type of calibration has been done by taking samples from infected patients,observing cytopathic effects in the 'isolated' sample and comparing them with corresponding results from the RT-PCR assay to provide the cut off point above which the test becomes useless as a means of detecting any viral product whatsoever. That would mean evidence from each and every laboratory across the country demonstrating this has been done.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...
This is a duplicate request to this one
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...
which is still pending.
Please could you respond to the other request in full or respond here.

Yours faithfully,

kevin king

FOI, Public Health England

OFFICIAL
Dear Kevin King,

We acknowledge receipt of your email, which will be treated as a request for an internal review, following your requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Please note we aim to complete your internal review within 20 working days from the day following the date of receipt of your request. We will notify you if we anticipate the internal review taking longer than 20 working days.

FOI Team
Public Accountability Unit
Public Health England
[Public Health England request email]
Tel: 020 8327 6920
www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE uk

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FOI, Public Health England

2 Attachments

  • Attachment

    1995 IR 1925 Validity of the design of the 2019 nCov.pdf

    97K Download View as HTML

  • Attachment

    Freedom of Information request Questions surrounding the validity of the design of the 2019 nCov real time RT PCR RdRp gene assay.txt

    6K Download View as HTML

OFFICIAL
Dear Kevin King,

Please find attached Public Health England's response to your email requesting an internal review.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team
Public Accountability Unit
Public Health England
[Public Health England request email]
Tel: 020 8327 6920
www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE uk

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