Covid-19 Test kits and Covid-19 Test Antibody kits
With the symptoms of COVID-19 sometimes taking up to two weeks to show in infected patients, it is rapidly becoming vitally important for swift testing of individuals who believe that they may have come into contact with the virus through PCR samples.
Antibody testing allows you to understand whether you have the IgG antibodies for COVID-19. Following recent advice from the MHRA antibody testing must be undertaken by venous blood draw. Blood collection may be booked at one of our GP practices, or you may arrange a home/office visit by making an enquiry with us.
Please read the options available and click on the test that is right for you.
- Simple, easy self testing for the active virus.
- Mail order testing allows you to stay at home.
- Quick turnaround guarantees peace of mind.
- The test of choice before returning to your household or work
- Multiple locations available
- You will get an email to confirm your booking.
- Complete the test within your car.
- The sample will be sent to the laboratory the same day
- Purchase on behalf of employees for business continuity.
- Volume discount available.
- Visit our Occupational Health site for more.
We offer an express service for patients who need results urgently. Please contact us on 0333 9000 010 to enquire
- Find out if you have been previously infected with COVID-19
- Venous blood draws available
- Onsite visits available UK wide for multiple tests
What is the difference between PCR and Antibody testing?
Covid-19 Test - Do I think I have the virus infection now?
The COVID-19 PCR test is a mouth and nose swab which tests for the active virus - if this is positive then you are infectious to other people and can spread the infection to those around you. Remember that with Coronavirus you may not have any symptoms at all but this highly accurate test will give you peace of mind that you can't infect others. This test is relevant when people who have been isolating wish to return to their household, community or workplace and need to know that they aren't infectious. Our swabs are processed at our accredited UK laboratory.
The antibody test is best undertaken 21 days after your first symptom.
Antibody test is very specific for COVID-19 (some inferior tests can mistake other infections for COVID-19 and wrongly reassure you); it is also very sensitive for the specific "IgG" antibody.
A positive result is suggestive that you have been previously infected by COVID-19, it is not currently known whether having the IgG antibodies gives immunity.
A negative result means that there are no antibodies present at the time of the sample being taken.
The tests requires a venous blood draw which will be undertaken by a healthcare professional – the sample will be sent to an accredited laboratory for analysis and is not an inferior testing kit with may give you a result on the say the accuracy of which is not reliable.
Antibody Test FAQs
Why use a lab-based test?
The simple answer is that the most accurate way to analyse any sample is in the controlled environment of a laboratory with strict controls in place and where any risk of contamination is absolutely minimised. The ELISA test has been used very successfully for decades and a great deal is known about this method of testing - this method is used for HIV and Hepatitis B sample analysis - all healthcare workers are tested for the latter and must obviously rely on this method of analysis.
Will I be Immune in the future?
The honest answer is that because COVID-19 is such a new condition we really do not know for sure. Our test will detect IgG antibodies for coronavirus and this antibody stays around longer than the acute phase IgM. In other conditions such as Hepatitis B these antibodies can remain active for years but it would be safest to say that, for now, we do not know how long these antibodies to COVID-19 will last.
If I have antibodies does that mean that I can never be infected with COVID-19 ever again?
"Never say never" would be apt in this case. Be very wary of any testing kit which promises immunity because this simply is not true. It is accepted that antibodies provide a natural defence to specific infectious agents, COVID-19 being just one of them. Our test will identify the absence or presence of Coronavirus antibodies and in all likelihood if you have antibodies there is the prospect that this offers some protection to Coronavirus. It is not likely that these antibodies will guarantee a second infection however most probably, a second infection would be milder and be associated with substantially lower mortality rates. SARS (caused by a similar Coronavirus) is a good example of firstly evidence that you can be infected more than once and secondly that the second infection tends to be milder.
What is the difference between IgG and IgM antibodies?
Essentially there is an acute antibody reaction (IgM) and then a further, more established, antibody reaction (IgG). The downfall of rapid testing kits is the impaired accuracy of determining IgG from IgM. What needs to be identified is the IgG antibodies which are more likely to confer some degree of longer protection from Coronavirus in the future. Measuring IgM simply identifies a short term reaction rather than the prospect of longer term protection.
I am IgG positive - what does that mean?
Ultimately an amount of Coronavirus antibodies have been detected in your blood sample - this suggests that you have been exposed to Coronavirus and have had an immune response. The advantage of this test now is that you have identified that you have had Coronavirus. It has to be said that there are no validated independent tests in the World which can say with certainty what level of antibodies are required and how these equate to protection. Do not believe any testing kit which links IgG antibodies with a guaranteed level of immunity. Going forwards of course as we learn more you will be straightaway better able to understand the implications of your test results.
I am IgG negative - what does that mean?
An absence of antibodies means that it is not likely that you have had a Coronavirus infection. The exception is that there will be a group of people who are "non-responders" and who simply do not generate an immune response to this infection. The exact percentage of this population is not known yet. Of course anyone who has had a PCR test positive and who then has an antibody test will be best placed to confirm that they were infected and whether or not they mounted an immune response. An absence of antibodies infers an absence of immune defence to further Coronavirus infections.
I have an "Equivocal" test result - what does that mean?
The rapid tests are very basic and simply identify positive or negative antibodies, many do not even discriminate effectively between IgG and IgM which ultimately is unhelpful to the patient. If some IgG antibodies are detected, but very few, it is most likely because the test has been used too soon and the IgG response has not had enough time to develop fully - retesting a week later is needed. If on a second occasion the test is still equivocal you can identify that you have had a poor immune response to Coronavirus.
Do Lockdown rules apply if I am immune?
Absolutely any test that promises that you are "immune" is, at this stage of our understanding about Coronavirus, wholly inaccurate. Regardless of your Coronavirus IgG levels you must abide by the same rules as everyone else. Having antibodies simply makes it more likely that you will not have a second infection or, failing that, that a second infection would be milder compared with a similar person who has no such antibodies.
Due to increasing demand on testing, we cannot guarantee the turnaround time of test results and customers must be aware that Summerfield Healthcare cannot be held liable for delays caused by the laboratory pressures or Royal Mail delays.
Our laboratory currently advises that results will be available within 1-2 working days and Summerfield Healthcare will make results available to you within 24 hours. Please note that advised turnaround times are only accurate at the time of purchase and may change during the period of receiving and posting your sample.
- Official watermarked certificate of your result emailed to you promptly.
- Suitable for international travel or employers.
- Certified by a GMC licensed doctor.
How Reliable Is the Coronavirus Testing Kit?
Quality and assurance are at the heart of every aspect of Summerfield Healthcare.
The laboratory used accredited to ISO 9002 standards and with UKAS and these are maintained through passing regular inspections and maintaining continuous high standards.
If you require further information on the quality of our service or the accreditation of our labs please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
How Reliable is the Antibody Testing Kit
We have reviewed many products in circulation and have only now decided to offer antibody testing because we have a trusted product which is specific to COVID-19 and sensitive. Our advice is to absolutely avoid any kit which claims to give you a result "on the day" - we have been worried by the lack of accuracy of these rapid diagnostic tests, some of which are wrong as often as 1 in 3 times.
Our UK-based UKAS accredited laboratory which has successfully undertaken thousands of PCR swabs is now analysing finger prick blood samples for "IgG" antibodies specific to COVID-19. This kit supplied by American firm Epitope Diagnostics inc (EDI) who are based in San Diego and who have been certified and licensed by the State of California Department of Health Services as medical device manufacturers since 2004. EDI are ISO 13485:2016 certified.
The Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) test is specific to COVID-19 (that is to say that other infectious agents should not falsely trigger the test); it is also specific to "IgG" which is the long term antibody associated with immunity although it must be stressed that it is not yet known how the Coronavirus antibodies equate to a level or duration of immunity - the test differentiates IgG from the short term antibodies such as "IgM".
As with all of these kits they undergo regular testing to ensure accuracy and reliability which on the last occasion were 100% accurate for both positive and negative samples.
"Thank you so much for contacting me as soon as you had the results back from your lab. As you will appreciate, knowing it's Covid-19 coronavirus and not flu makes a very significant difference to how to conduct life from here on. We were very anxious to hear the news asap. Many thanks"
Coronavirus Kit User 13/03/2020