Thankfully, accurate instant and laboratory Abbott antibody testing (with full blood draw) for coronavirus are now available.
Benefits of Abbott Laboratory testing
- Full blood draw by experienced nurse or phlebotomist
- Approved by Public Health England
- 100% sensitivity
- 99.63% specificity
- Lower threshold for antibody detection (can detect fewer IgG antibodies)
- Results in 24 hours
Benefits of SureScreen rapid antibody testing
- 99.6 % accuracy for IgG
- Rapid result within 10 minutes
- 100% sensitivity after 20 days post infection
- Formally endorsed by Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College
- Simple finger-prick test compared to full blood draw
- Easy on-site testing for companies, schools
- Great value for money
Accuracy has been independently validated Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London.
Rapid Testing for IgG antibodies
The instant antibody blood test tests for two types of antibodies – IgG (past infection) and IgM (a non-specific antibody that possibly indicates a recent infection but needs verification with a PCR swab). Needing only a simple barely-noticeable finger-prick, using our comfort lancet, test has a 99.6% accuracy rate and 100% sensitivity for past infections (IgG) after 20 days post infection. We are currently using SureScreen COVID-19 antibody test kits, which are being used at Guys and St Thomas’ and King’s College hospitals.
The SureScreen coronavirus antibody test kits are registered with MHRA and are CE certified and are produced in Derby in the United Kingdom. We are confident in the reliability of the test for IgG (past infection) antibodies and are running our own internal clinical audit as well as relying on studies from academic and health facility sources.
If you are concerned about a current infection, we recommend having a PCR swab test for COVID-19 although the SureScreen test has acceptable accuracy for IgM antibodies of 97.8% as this is a non-specific antibody.
A clinic certificate can be issued if this is needed. This test is only available at the clinic and is not regulated for home use.
Fee: £85 (50% discount for NHS colleagues – please show ID)
We are pleased to be able to offer Abbott antibody testing for coronavirus IgG antibodies. The government has correctly pulled home-testing for Abbott, a move we greatly support due to the difficult obtaining blood and issues with accuracy with home-testing. This test is should only be conducted at a clinic through full blood draw rather than finger-prick.
This test is 99% accurate for presence of antibodies and provides a certified laboratory report. Abbott testing requires the drawing of your blood and results can be available in 24 hours. This will give a positive or negative result but does not provide a quantitative result – ie. it tells you that coronavirus antibodies are present but not how many.
IgG antibodies are believed to start developing at around 14 days but we can be more certain at around 28 days. We do not know how these antibodies then behave – whether the levels drop over time, for example. This test is helpful as the threshold for finding the IGG antibody is lower in laboratory testing than the instant kit so if you only developed a few coronavirus antibodies or had very mild symptoms and probably therefore a low viral load, this test would help you get the answers you need.
Fee: £129 (50% discount for NHS colleagues – please show ID)
I currently have symptoms – what should I do?
If you are symptomatic, a swab test is currently available for at-home testing for COVID-19 with results in 2-5 days. This has close to 100% accuracy and is the gold standard for testing for a current infection. Similarly, if you need to absolutely exclude an active virus, either because you were previously ill or need to return to work, a PCR swab test would be the correct test to consider.
Fee: £175 for home-testing kit
What ages do you test?
We can conduct phlebotomy for children over the age of 2.
Why do I have to have the SureScreen test at the clinic?
These tests are not regulated for home use. The instant testing has a higher than acceptable level of inaccuracy when conducted at home by a non-medical person. The reason for this is that the process requires drawing of blood from the finger, quick pipette drawing before clotting and then processing in a cassette with processing fluids. The outcome of the test also needs interpreting – there are sometimes faint responses which need interpreting by someone experienced looking at the test outcomes.
Why are you offering both types of test?
The tests have comparable accuracy. However, some patients prefer the finger-prick over the full blood draw and some prefer an instant result rather than waiting 24 hours for the result. Patient choice is important to us so both tests are available.
So which test should I have?
You should make your decision based on your needs. You might need a laboratory report, for example, in which case the Abbott test would be best for you. If you are testing for your own interest and don’t want a full blood draw, then consider the SureScreen rapid test. We have listed a list of benefits for each test above to help you make an informed decision.
Does having antibodies mean I am now immune?
The short answer is that we really don’t know yet. Logically, we can assume that having antibodies gives us a degree of protection for as long as we have them. Antibody tests show if you have had a previous coronavirus / COVID-19 infection and having IgG antibodies can mean that you are potentially immune to future illness. But we do not know yet what level of antibodies are needed to confirm immunity, if immunity is possible in the shorter or longer term and how long the IgG antibodies stay in our system. We will update our page as more studies are published and as we know more.
Do more severe symptoms result in more antibodies?
The study conducted by Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College does suggest that individuals with a more severe infection generated IgG antibodies more readily.
When should I get tested?
Studies suggest that IgG antibodies are present after 16 days but we recommend testing at around 28 days for an optimal result. You can test at any time after 28 days after infection as antibodies will be detectable for as long as they are present in your system.
Can I still actively carry the virus if I have IgG antibodies?
We are too early in this outbreak to know for sure whether having IgG antibodies reduces the risk of transmission.
How do I book? Can I walk-in for my test?
Pre-booking is required. Because of the current climate, we cannot see patients on a walk-in basis. Please call us to arrange your visit or for your convenience, use our online booking engine.
Please note we are not seeing symptomatic patients at the clinic so if you have coronavirus symptoms and need testing for antigen, your best option is a home-testing swab kit and telephone consultation with a doctor. Please get in touch with us to arrange this.
COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus that is highly infectious. It is passed on through droplets from an infected person. It is believed that around 50% of people carrying an active COVID-19 virus do not display symptoms which is one reason it has spread so quickly. Also, symptoms vary from person to person.
Some people only have a cough or a fever while others may suffer from a sore throat, headache, diarrhoea or lose their sense of taste or smell. The only way to know for sure if you have or have had coronavirus COVID-19 is through testing.
Why do I need a consultation?
Testing without a consultation means that we would be unable to properly advise you on next steps, protecting your family, whether you can return to work after lockdown and any treatment you might require.