This coronavirus antibody test is a laboratory analysed test which indicates if your body has developed IgG antibodies in response to a past infection of the COVID-19 virus. These antibodies can become detectable 14 days after the onset of symptoms reaching 100% detectability from day 21. For this reason, the test is best performed at least 21 days after the start of symptoms.
The Abbott CE marked test has only been approved for venous blood samples which requires blood to be drawn from an arm using our mobile nurse service. Simply purchase your test together with a phlebotomy appointment and a nurse will contact you to arrange a convenient time to visit you at home.
Validation studies conducted by our lab partner found the test to be 99.5% specific and 98.5% sensitive.
An antibody is a protein produced by the body to help fight infection. In some cases, antibodies can remain in the body for months and possibly years after infection, however, in the case of COVID-19 research is still ongoing and a positive result does not necessary mean you are immune to further infection.
Please note that this test should not be used if you are worried that the symptoms you or a loved one are currently suffering are caused by coronavirus. If this is the case please visit nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ to see the most up to date UK Government guidelines.
Venous antibody blood test with analysis at an accredited lab.
Sample should be taken after 21 days
It is important that you take your blood sample 21 days after the onset of symptoms. This will give your body time to generate antibodies.
Appointment with a nurse
This test requires blood to be drawn from a vein and one of our mobile nurses will contact you within 5 working days to make an appointment at your home. Please note no appointments can be made if you or someone you have been in contact with has experienced coronavirus symptoms within the last 14 days. Appointments can also not be made with anyone who has been advised by Government to shield or self-isolate.
Posting your sample
Your sample should be posted back the same day of your appointment. You will be sent a ‘returns’ kit which will include everything you need to return your sample to the lab. Please make sure you post your sample in a priority post box.
Display of results
Your results will be available within 3 working days of receipt and will be displayed as a positive, negative or borderline result.
Accuracy of results
Validation work conducted by the test manufacturer Abbott found the test to be 100% sensitive and 99.6% specific when using venous blood samples. Our lab conducted their own validation studies and found it to be 98.5% sensitive and 99.5% specific.
Over 18’s only
The test is only available for people aged over 18 years.
There is a huge amount of information online everyday about coronavirus and also the test solutions that are being put in place. We’ve put together a list of Q&A’s which will hopefully answer the key questions you may have.
This private coronavirus antibody test uses the Abbott Laboratories assay which is one of only two approved by Public Health England. Validation studies conducted by our lab partner found the test to be 98.5% sensitive and 99.5% specific. This means that out of 1000 people who have had the virus, there is the chance that 15 people will receive a false negative. Similarly, the validation study found that the test produced a negative result in 99.5% of samples from people who had not had coronavirus, meaning that out of 1000 people who hadn’t had the virus 5 may receive a false-positive result.
Please note that it is possible this test may not accurately detect antibodies in people who have had a very mild infection, have a compromised immune system, or have not left enough time elapse from the start of symptoms to the time of taking the test.
Coronavirus antibody tests work by identifying the presence of IgG antibodies to SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies are disease specific proteins which are created by the body in order to fight off infections. If you have had COVID-19 in the past your blood will contain proteins specific to COVID-19. A study by Abbott found that these antibodies become detectable 14 days after the onset of symptoms.
Virus PCR test – this is a diagnostic test which is used to detect if a person has an active form of the COVID-19 virus in their body at the time they are being tested. This test should be used by people who currently have symptoms which they think may be coronavirus. The PCR test is done by taking a swab from the nose and throat and sending to a laboratory for analysis.
Rapid home tests – there are no antibody rapid tests currently approved by Public Health England for use in the UK. To date these tests have proved to have poor levels of accuracy. The tests work by dropping blood onto a device and waiting for a result – similar to a pregnancy test.
Finger-prick lab analysed tests – the MHRA are currently conducting a national review into COVID-19 antibody testing using self-collecting finger prick blood kits, which are posted to a laboratory for analysis. Validation studies conducted by laboratories have shown a strong correlation between venous and finger-prick collection methods for the COVID-19 antibody test. However, given the importance of antibody testing, the MHRA want to ensure the entire end-to-end testing process is an accurate, safe and secure way of testing for coronavirus antibodies. Indeed, finger-prick collection is a key part of the Government’s testing strategy going forward.
Venous antibody tests – home coronavirus antibody testing using blood samples taken from an arm (venous) and analysed by a laboratory are available without any restrictions. The Government have currently approved two manufacturers of this test; Abbott Laboratories and Roche.
A private COVID-19 antibody test can be done by any adult who wants to know if they have had the coronavirus infection. According to some studies, many people are asymptomatic so may not realise they have been exposed to the virus. This test is not available to children under 18.
Your results will be displayed as a positive, negative or borderline.
A positive result confirms that the test has detected the presence of COVID-19 IgG antibodies. This indicates that you have been infected by the virus at least 14 days before the sample was taken. There is a 4/1000 chance of receiving a false-positive according to the study conducted by Abbott.
A negative result indicates that the test has not detected the presence of COVID-19 IgG antibodies and you are unlikely to have been infected by the virus in the past. However, please note that it is possible that a negative result may be returned if the infection was very mild, if you have a suppressed immune system or if the sample was taken without waiting more than 20 days since the onset of symptoms.
If your test returned a borderline result, the laboratory did not detect enough antibodies to confirm a positive result. This can happen if you have taken the test too soon and your body has not had enough time to create antibodies. In such cases, it is recommended the test is repeated in 7–14 days to determine if your antibody level has increased.
IgG antibodies take time to form in the blood after an infection. Validation work undertaken by the manufacturer indicates that IgG antibodies in response to COVID-19 are 100% detectable 20 days after infection. There is therefore the risk of receiving a false negative result if the sample is taken without waiting more than 20 days since the onset of symptoms.
A positive result indicating the presence of IgG antibodies to an infectious virus can imply a degree of immunity. However, in the case of COVID-19 we still do not know enough about the virus and to what extent immunity is conferred or for how long.
Antibodies created in response to viruses and bacteria can remain detectable in the blood stream for years after an infection and sometimes can last lifetime. In the case of COVID-19 we still do not know enough about the virus to confirm how long antibodies will remain in our body and how much immunity they will give us.
No, this test will not tell you if you currently have coronavirus, that is done using a PCR swab test. This is an antibody test. A positive result will suggest a past infection of COVID-19, a negative result will mean that no COVID-19 antibodies have been detected at the time of collecting your sample. If you are worried you may have coronavirus please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ to see the most up to date Government guidelines or go to https://111.nhs.uk if you are feeling unwell.
Your results will be available within 3 working days of your sample arriving at our lab. You will receive a text/email when your results are available to view. You can view your results by logging onto your secure account either through your browser of you can download our results app from the Apple or Android store.
Once you have purchased your test, a registered nurse will contact you within 5 working days to make an appointment. They will bring everything needed to collect your sample.
Strict safety protocols have been put in place by the provider of the mobile nurses to ensure the safety of our customers and the nurses. All customers will be required to answer pre-appointment questions to ensure the environment is safe for the nurse to attend. According to this protocol no appointments can be made if you or someone you have been in contact with has experienced coronavirus symptoms within the last 14 days. Appointments can also not be made with anyone who has been told to shield or self-isolate as a result of government advice. Nurses are equipped with PPE equipment and will advise you of any further safety measures when they arrive.
We will despatch a ‘returns’ kit to you within 1 working day of you purchasing your test via 1st class postage. Please make sure you have received this before confirming your appointment with the nurse. The ‘returns’ kit will contain everything you need to return your sample to the lab and will include, a lab request form, plastic container for the tube and a Tracked 24 Return envelope. Royal Mail are still experiencing some delays at the moment, so please post your sample in a priority post box. Visit https://www.royalmail.com/services-near-you#/ to find a priority post box near you.
Our lab partner holds UKAS 15189 accreditation and is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The lab also participates in a voluntarily EQA scheme to ensure the repeatability of sample analysis and scientific staff employed by the lab are registered with HCPC.
Unfortunately, our service and therefore this test is strictly for adults aged 18 years and over.
Unfortunately, only one test per transaction. This is due to the safety protocols in place at our lab which ensures each order has a unique identifying number which is then matched to your blood sample upon arrival.