loader image
December 4, 2020
International Consortium of Scientists in Life Sciences have found 10 major fatal flaws in the CV test. Consequences, false positives

The test cannot be used as a diagnostic for SARS-viruses

December 4, 2020


It seemed in January that the world was facing an impending epidemic caused by a deadly new virus and that a swift response based on inevitably limited data was of the utmost importance to avert a potential global catastrophe. One of the most important tools in this fight to detect, isolate and suppress the virus is the PCR test. The CharitĂŠ Institute of Berlin led by Prof. Drosten was quick to recognise the extreme seriousness of the situation and developed the first PCR test protocol to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus in record time. This was simultaneously selected and recommended by the WHO and became the global first line of defense.

Eleven months into the pandemic we have now learned much more about the virus and the multitude of PCR test variants made possible by the Corman-Drosten protocol. Flaws in the test protocol have become increasingly clear and our review report addresses these tremendous concerns.

In the literature of PCR testing, it is known that there are many dangers, such as operational false positives that can lead to misinterpretation of the test results. For this reason it is recommended by Kurkela et al.  that PCR should only ever be used in tandem with a clinical diagnosis of infection based on symptoms. Finally, there are documented occurrences of misinterpretation that have led to phantom pandemics, e..g. the 2004-2006 Respiratory illness outbreak mistakenly attributed to Pertussis via use of PCR testing.

The amount of PCR testing increases every day with consequent record numbers of PCR positives. Governments and news organizations cite these daily and use them to justify their individual policies. Some of the consequences of these policies are listed below: Misdiagnosis of PCR positives as infections has a history of causing ‘Casedemics’ which are typically characterized by an incongruity between positive PCR test results and deaths.

The use of lockdowns and belief in unproven NPIs coupled with the appearance of the ‘casedemic’ phenomena enabled by PCR testing has encouraged governments worldwide to intimidate their populations into compliance with increasingly bizarre and illogical restrictions. Use of psychological techniques to enforce these includes;

a) the deliberate ramping up of fear tactics via the media to ensure compliance,

b) excessive use of police and military force to instill an atmosphere of imminent threat to life,

c) suggestions of dire consequences of non-compliance to instill fear even including suggestions to children that they might infect and kill their granny,

d) The UN has warned of the tendency of some governments to use the emergency declarations as a cover for repressive action.

Loss of democracy and human rights: Many human rights as enshrined in Articles of the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights are being eroded or simply ignored as a direct result of new lockdown measures justified by PCR test results. The list includes;

a) freedoms to protest,

b) freedom of thought and speech (Article 18) e.g. prominent scientists   censored for expressing opinions and ideas,

c) freedom of the press,

d) freedom to socialise,

e) right to conduct economic business,

f) denial of consumer choice,

g) limitations on access to education,

h) limitations on access to medical treatment / choice, Inhumane treatment (Article 5) e.g. elderly being abandoned and left to alone to die in care institutions.


In the publication entitled “Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR” (Eurosurveillance 25 2020) the authors present a diagnostic workflow and RT-qPCR protocol for detection and diagnostics of 2019-nCoV (now known as SARS-CoV-2), which they claim to be validated, as well as being a robust diagnostic methodology for use in public-health laboratory settings.

In light of all the consequences resulting from this very publication for societies worldwide, a group of independent researchers performed a point-by-point review of the aforesaid publication in which

1) all components of the presented test design were cross checked,

2) the RT-qPCR protocol-recommendations were assessed w.r.t. good laboratory practice, and

3) parameters examined against relevant scientific literature covering the field.

The published RT-qPCR protocol for detection and diagnostics of 2019-nCoV and the manuscript suffer from numerous technical and scientific errors, including insufficient primer design, a problematic and insufficient RT-qPCR protocol, and the absence of an accurate test validation. Neither the presented test nor the manuscript itself fulfils the requirements for an acceptable scientific publication. Further, serious conflicts of interest of the authors are not mentioned. Finally, the very short timescale between submission and acceptance of the publication (24 hours) signifies that a systematic peer review process was either not performed here, or of problematic poor quality.  We provide compelling evidence of several scientific inadequacies, errors and flaws.

Considering the scientific and methodological blemishes presented here, we are confident that the editorial board of Eurosurveillance has no other choice but to retract the publication.




The Corman-Drosten paper contains the following specific errors:

1. There exists no specified reason to use these extremely high concentrations of primers in this protocol. The described concentrations lead to increased nonspecific bindings and PCR product amplifications, making the test unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

2. Six unspecified wobbly positions will introduce an enormous variability in the real world laboratory implementations of this test; the confusing nonspecific description in the Corman-Drosten paper is not suitable as a Standard Operational Protocol making the test unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

3. The test cannot discriminate between the whole virus and viral fragments. Therefore, the test cannot be used as a diagnostic for intact (infectious) viruses, making the test unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus and make inferences about the presence of an infection.

4. A difference of 10° C with respect to the annealing temperature Tm for primer pair1 (RdRp_SARSr_F and RdRp_SARSr_R) also makes the test unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

5. A severe error is the omission of a Ct value at which a sample is considered positive and negative. This Ct value is also not found in follow-up submissions making the test unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

6. The PCR products have not been validated at the molecular level. This fact makes the protocol useless as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

7. The PCR test contains neither a unique positive control to evaluate its specificity for SARS-CoV-2 nor a negative control to exclude the presence of other coronaviruses, making the test unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

8. The test design in the Corman-Drosten paper is so vague and flawed that one can go in dozens of different directions; nothing is standardized and there is no SOP. This highly questions the scientific validity of the test and makes it unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

9. Most likely, the Corman-Drosten paper was not peer-reviewed making the test unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

10. We find severe conflicts of interest for at least four authors, in addition to the fact that two of the authors of the Corman-Drosten paper (Christian Drosten and Chantal Reusken) are members of the editorial board of Eurosurveillance. A conflict of interest was added on July 29 2020 (Olfert Landt is CEO of TIB-Molbiol; Marco Kaiser is senior researcher at GenExpress and serves as scientific advisor for TIB-Molbiol), that was not declared in the original version (and still is missing in the PubMed version); TIB-Molbiol is the company which was “the first” to produce PCR kits (Light Mix) based on the protocol published in the Corman-Drosten manuscript, and according to their own words, they distributed these PCR-test kits before the publication was even submitted [20]; further, Victor Corman & Christian Drosten failed to mention their second affiliation: the commercial test laboratory “Labor Berlin”. Both are responsible for the virus diagnostics there [21] and the company operates in the realm of real time PCR-testing.

In light of our re-examination of the test protocol to identify SARS-CoV-2 described in the Corman-Drosten paper we have identified concerning errors and inherent fallacies which render the SARS-CoV-2 PCR test useless. 


Nov 26th 2020, 

To: Editorial Board Eurosurveillance
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
Gustav III:s Boulevard 40
16973 Solna

Subject: External Review and request to retract the paper of Corman et al, published in Eurosurveillance January 23, 2020.

Dear editorial board Eurosurveillance,

We, an international consortium of life-science scientists, write this letter in response to the article “Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR” published in Eurosurveillance (January 23rd, 2020) and co-authored by Victor M Corman , Olfert Landt , Marco Kaiser , Richard Molenkamp, Adam Meijer, Daniel KW Chu, Tobias Bleicker , Sebastian Brünink, Julia Schneider , Marie Luisa Schmidt , Daphne GJC Mulders , Bart L Haagmans , Bas van der Veer , Sharon van den Brink, Lisa Wijsman, Gabriel Goderski, Jean-Louis Romette, Joanna Ellis, Maria Zambon, Malik Peiris, Herman Goossens, Chantal Reusken, Marion PG Koopmans, and Christian Drosten.

This paper (hereafter referred to as “Corman-Drosten paper”), published by “Eurosurveillance” on 23 January 2020, describes an RT-PCR method to detect the novel Corona virus (also known as SARS-CoV2). After careful consideration, our international consortium of Life Science scientists found the Corman-Drosten paper is severely flawed with respect to its biomolecular and methodological design. A detailed scientific argumentations can be found in our review “External peer review of the RTPCR test to detect SARS-CoV2 reveals 10 major scientific flaws at the molecular and methodological level: consequences for false positive results”, which we herewith submit for publication in Eurosurveillance.
Further, the submission date and acceptance date of this paper are January 21st and January 22nd, respectively. Considering the severe errors in design and methodology of the RT-PCR test published by “Eurosurveillance”, this raises the concern whether the paper was subjected to peer-review at all.

A previous request from our side (Dr. P. Borger; email 26/10/2020) to the editors of “Eurosurveillance” to provide the peer review report of the Corman-Drosten paper has not been complied with. We have enclosed your email reply (dated 18/11/2020) indicating that you do not wish to disclose important information to solve this conundrum.

We are confident that you will take our scientific objections seriously and recognize that there is no alternative but to accept our request to retract the Corman-Drosten paper.











error: Alert: Content is protected !!