We’ve been able to source a supply of coronavirus antibody testing. You can take a simple and reliable test from the safety of your own home to find out if you have COVID-19 antibodies, a sign that your body has previously been infected with the coronavirus.
Taken 14 days or more after you first suffer symptoms, this IgG antibodies test has been shown to be 99.6% accurate in its ability to detect the COVID-19 antibodies which your body produces in response to the coronavirus.
The London testing laboratories was one of the first in Europe to be able to offer this test, which is CE marked, FDA EUA approved and is also being used by the NHS to test frontline workers.
The COVID-19 coronavirus antibody test is a blood test which detects whether you’ve developed an immune response (antibodies) specifically to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This is useful to show whether you have previously come into contact with the virus or not. Predominantly, it highlights past infection but has some ability to check for current infection. However, due to a limited test window, it does not provide the same level of accuracy as a the PCR swab coronavirus test which is the test of choice during an active infection.
What Does the Test Look For?
An antibody test is not used to detect whether you currently have Covid-19. It’s to find out if you’ve been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes it, and already developed an immune response. If you’ve caught the virus—no matter whether you experienced a flu-like illness recently or haven’t even felt sick—your body will have produced proteins called antibodies to fight it off. The blood test will detect these antibodies.
It takes about 5 to 10 days after exposure to the virus for the body to start making antibodies, but that timeline can vary by a few days, which is why many testing centres will make you wait at least seven or eight days. It’s also why the antibody test is only given to people who’ve recovered from a case of suspected Covid-19, and not while they’re sick with it. If they were to take the test too soon, while they were still in the early stages of their immune response, they might not have enough antibodies in their blood to get a positive test result, even if they definitely have Covid-19.
That’s different from the Covid-19 diagnostic test used to find out if a person currently has the disease. A diagnostic test uses a swab of fluid taken from a person’s nose or throat, and checks that for genetic traces of the virus.
Does a Positive Result Mean You’re Now Immune?
Nobody can say with certainty right now. Recently, the World Health Organization warned that there’s no conclusive proof that having SARS-CoV-2 antibodies will prevent a person from succumbing to the virus a second time. On the other hand, there’s not much proof yet that anyone has had it twice; early reports were likely based on faulty testing.
Immunity can vary a lot after exposure to different kinds of viruses. Exposure to, say, the measles is usually enough to make a person immune for life. Catching influenza, on the other hand, doesn’t do much to protect you from next year’s flu wave, because the flu virus mutates quickly, and because the body starts to wind down production of flu antibodies after six months or so.
Click here for more information on the antibody test kit.