This is a blood test that detects whether you’ve developed an immune response (antibodies), specifically focusing on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is a useful test in showing whether you have previously come into contact with the virus or not. It’s main function is highlighting any past infection, but it has some ability to check for current infection.
At Newington Pharmacy we have two SARS COV2 tests available – a lab-based antibody test and a rapid antibody test.
Lab-based Antibody Testing
Lab-based blood testing involves taking a blood sample from the arm (venous blood test) and is then sent to an approved Public health laboratory for analysis. You’ll receive the test in our pharmacy and get your results in 3 to 5 working days.
If you think you have had COVID please wait 21 days after recovery before you take the test or 28 days if you have had contact with someone who has COVID symptoms.
Frequently asked antibody test questions:
When should I have COVID-19 antibody test?
The antibody test should ideally be done 14-21 days after your first symptoms. As the antibody test is both sensitive and specific to the IgG antibody of COVID-19, it means that a positive test result indicates you have had the virus. However, we are not yet aware of whether this will offer you any immunity to the virus – meaning that you may still be able to get the virus again. However, a negative test result, completed in the correct time frame, would indicate that you have not suffered from COVID-19 previously and could develop the infection if exposed at a later date.
What does the Antibody test look for?
This test pinpoints specific IgG antibodies, which will appear during an established immune reaction, rather than IgM antibodies which are triggered by an acute immune response and can therefore be less reliable.
How reliable is the test?
Very reliable. The test has a 97.5% accuracy.
As with any diagnostic test, there is the possibility of false-positive and negatives.
A false-positive result means the test has incorrectly detected the antibodies.
A false-negative means the kit has failed to detect the antibodies that are present in your blood.
The chances of a false-negative or false-positive result are very unlikely. However, the main reason for false results is taking the test too soon after possible infection.
This is why you need to wait for at least 21 days after recovering from a possible infection before taking the test. Or wait 28 days after being in contact with someone who has COVID-19.
Rapid Antibody Testing
At Newington Pharmacy we are also offering Rapid Antibody Testing. The test is intended for use as an aid in identifying people with an adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2, indicating previous infection to the virus. This decentralised form of testing allows for a greater amount of people to be tested as we attempt to keep people safe and prevent the continual spreading of the virus.
The Rapid Antibody Test can be performed with a small blood sample (20 microlitres) from the fingertip and produces results within 10-15 minutes.
Is rapid testing reliable?
In short, yes. The test has been shown to have a 99.03% sensitivity rate 14 days after the onset of symptoms as well as a specificity rating of 98.65%. This means that test results are not only fast but are accurate and reliable too. The rapid test can check for both IGG and IGM antibodies.
How does it work?
The four-step process is simple and effective, allowing for greater testing to a wider range of people in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus and keep people safe.
1. Take finger stick blood: Using a capillary tube a small amount of blood (20 microliters) will be taken from the tip of your finger.
2. Add to the blood test: The blood is then placed onto the test.
3. Drops of the buffer: Three drops from the buffer bottle are then added to the blood sample.
4. Read the result: After 10-15 minutes, you will be presented with an accurate result.
Remember: Do Not read the result after 15 minutes as it may produce an incorrect reading.