CoronaVirus AntiBody Test
Private COVID-19 Antibody Test Package
Testing, ordering & results information
Our COVID-19 antibody test package uses a Public Health England approved, highly accurate, quick and easy test to confirm if you have had Coronavirus. The service includes a GP consultation and advice pre and post test. Results are provided within 24 hours of sample receipt.
Please note, our ‘at home’ testing service is temporarily unavailable and tests can only currently be conducted in our clinics, which are re-opening soon.
Our COVID-19 test package provides:
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Why include a GP consultation?
Simply put, we think it gives you the best standard of care. Although the test alone is currently available for between £70-£100, most of the services do not include individual advice and support from a named clinician.
There are different approved tests available from different manufacturers (Abbott and Roche) and each gives different results depending upon the time between infection and when the test is taken. We think a doctor should be at hand to help explain the differences and what they may mean for you as an individual.
Having a consultation with a doctor also means that if you have any questions about the test, pre-existing conditions, or the results and what they may mean, you can get the answers before having the test. You may not be able to access this kind of advice from some ‘online only’ test providers very easily.
Our Regulator, the CQC, also expect good medical providers to be able to demonstrate that their service is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. We think the only way to achieve that whilst offering tests remotely is to ensure that a responsible clinician has oversight of your test, results and the follow-up process.
If you are considering ordering any test online, we urge you to consider the level of support you can access from a clinician as part of the service before, during and after the test.
What is an IgG Antibody test?
There are two different tests to identify if someone has, or has had, COVID-19. The first, an antigen test, is designed to show if anyone has the virus at the moment the test is taken. The second, an antibody test, is intended to find the antibodies created during or after the body fights off the virus.
Our immune system reacts to the coronavirus infection by producing antibodies from a few days to 2 weeks after the onset of symptoms. Specific antibodies (called “IgG”) are produced in the later stages of infection. The persistence of IgG antibodies in the body allows identification of people who have been infected by COVID-19.
The test requires a small blood sample, which can be provided in a self-collecting kit at home or provided in our clinic. The test can only be taken 14 days or more following a potential exposure or from the onset of symptoms.
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How accurate is the test?
It’s best to think of the accuracy of the test in two ways: the true positive rate (called ‘sensitivity’) and the true negative rate (called ‘specificity’).
The antibody test produced by Abbott Laboratories has a very good ‘limit of detection’, in that it can accurately identify very small amounts of the virus in the body.
The manufacturer states that the test is 97.5% sensitive, so it will accurately identify antibodies in the vast majority of people. In a population of 200 people who are tested, up to 5 people who do have antibodies may be told that they do not have them. However, Public Health England have also evaluated the test and concluded that the test is 92.71% sensitive. This means in a population of 200 people who are tested, up to 14 people who do have antibodies may be told they do not have them.
The test is 100% specific, which Public Health England also found, so the ‘true negative’ rate is very good. When compared with other diagnostic tests the results are very favourable and we have confidence not only in the test itself, but in our laboratory partner (TDL) who processes the samples.
Another test, manufactured by Roche, is also available and when evaluated by Public Health England was found to be 83.87% sensitive. However, the accuracy of the Roche test does improve as the time period between infection and testing increases. The Roche test is marginally more accurate than the Abbott test when the period between infection and testing is greater than 40 days.
Given the differing results from the tests, we do not believe that the test should be provided without individual clinical advice, which is why our testing package includes a GP consultation.
If I have antibodies, am I immune?
Most patients who recover from coronavirus have been found to produce antibodies. However, it is not yet known if an individual with a positive result showing presence of IgG levels following being infected with SARS-CoV-2 will be protected, either fully or partially from future infection, or for how long any protective immunity may last.
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Are there any risks associated with testing?
There are very few risks associated with antibody testing, although any extended delay between obtaining a blood sample and sending it to the laboratory can result in the quality of the sample degrading. The sample should always be returned to the laboratory at the earliest opportunity.
There are concerns that being told you have antibodies may lead to a false sense of security and potentially changes in behaviour, such as becoming less concerned about social distancing. This is a reasonable concern and we urge caution in interpreting the test results as anything other than information – having antibodies does not mean you are definitely immune from infection.
How do I order the test?
You can book your consultation with a doctor and order the test at a time to suit using our online booking service. You will be able to discuss your personal circumstances, any pre-existing conditions and any questions you may have about the test, before it is ordered.
The package also includes personal follow-up with a doctor to provide your results.
How much does the test cost?
The package fee for the antibody test, GP consultation beforehand and follow up results provision with a doctor is £150.00.
How long do the results take?
The testing process is likely to take around three, possibly four, days to complete from the time the consultation with the doctor is completed.
Following the consultation a self-collection sample kit is sent by our laboratory to your nominated address by Royal Mail Special Delivery.
The kit includes a return pack in order for you to send the sample back with postage pre-paid from any postbox in the UK.
Once it arrives at the laboratory the sample is processed and the results are provided to our doctors within 24 hours. The doctor will then contact you with the results.
What about testing for my business?
Please feel free to contact our occupational health team on 02072363334 if you would like to enquire about COVID-19 testing for your business.
To learn more about our occupational health services for business, please visit our occupational health pages.
Our approach to testing does not take any resources away from the NHS and is directly in line with guidance from Public Health England and our regulator, the Care Quality Commission.