Who should have the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) antibody test?
Those patients wanting to know if they have had COVID-19 or been exposed to the virus and recovered. This test can help test for that.
When should the test be done?
Symptoms of Covid-19 - at least 14 days from onset (ideally 21 days).
Possibly exposed but had no symptoms (asymptomatic) - then 14 days (at the earliest) to 21 days after exposure.
Up to an estimated 80% of Covid-19 infected patients have no (or mild) symptoms1.
Testing too early may result in a false negative test (negative result but you have been exposed to Covid).
If you have symptoms of Covid-19 or had recent exposure, the PCR swab test we offer is more appropriate.
How does the antibody test kit work?
It requires you to provide a small blood sample from a finger-prick using the kit supplied. This is collected in a special container which you post to the lab for testing. The lab analyses the sample for antibodies to the Covid-19 virus. A positive test suggests you have most likely had Covid-19.
Here’s a link to a short video showing the technique.
How do I send my results to the lab?
Post it in a priority post box before Midday on the same day that the test is taken. To find your nearest priority post box for Covid-19 tests click here and type in your postcode. Alternatively use the Royal Mail app.
Do not do the test on a Saturday or Sunday to avoid a delay in it being received in the lab.
How long will it take to get the results?
The results will take 2-3 days. You will be alerted as soon as the results have been received.
How do I get the results?
You will receive an email and SMS notification when it’s done and you can login to our secure website portal to view the results. If you would like to receive an SMS with the test results, you can add your mobile number to the form which comes with your test kit and the lab will message you the results directly.
Is the test legal and approved?
Abbott Laboratories have an outstanding global reputation and have received FDA Emergency Use Authorisation, the CE Mark and MHRA clearance. For more about Abbott Laboratories Covid-19 test click here.
Will the antibody test tell me if I have previously been infected?
Correct, a positive test suggests it is very likely you have been infected / exposed to Covid-19.
Does a positive antibody test mean I am immune?
As Covid-19 is a new disease there is not enough scientific evidence to confirm if having antibodies means you are definitely immune.
At the time of writing, no human reinfections with SARS-CoV-2 have been confirmed. This suggests the body develops immunity, antibody levels seem to rise in patients as viral counts drop.
We also do not know how long any immunity to Covid-19 lasts.
Following the 2002 SARS virus outbreak the responsible virus SARS-CoV was studied extensively. Research showed patients with antibodies were immune over a 3 year period2. Covid-19 (SARS-Cov2) is closely related to SARS-CoV, both viruses having originated in bats.
Is the Covid-19 antibody test accurate?
The Abbott Laboratories test has specificity of 100% and sensitivity of 97.5%. In our opinion it is one of the best of its kind in the world and is processed at the largest private clinical laboratory in the U.K.
- No test is 100% accurate.
- Having antibodies does not imply complete immunity.
- Patients with positive Rheumatoid Factor (associated with auto-immune conditions) and those on immunosuppressant medicines or compromised immune systems, may not get an accurate result.
- You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment due to the information obtained from any test kit obtained through MedExpress.
Are you offering any discounts to NHS or doctors?
Yes, for Doctors or NHS staff we are committed to providing the tests at a substantial discount. Please contact us at email@example.com for further details.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus?
The main symptoms are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- loss of sense of smell or taste - this is a recently added standalone symptom suggesting possible Covid-19 infection