To ensure the safety of our patients and staff, please let us know if you have had a sore throat, fever or other symptoms within the last 2 weeks. If you are currently sick, please talk to your doctor about options for testing and care.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This virus, which can cause mild to severe respiratory illness, has spread globally. This illness is very contagious and although the usual symptoms (sore throat, fever or loss of smell / taste) are well known, it is also possible that some people may have had the virus with mild or even no symptoms.
What is the COVID-19 IgG/IgM Antibody test?
Antibody tests differ from the usual ‘swab’ type test, which tests to see if you currently have the disease.
This Combined Antibody Test is designed to detect antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system in response to an infection and are specific to that particular infection. They are found in the blood and so will require a sample to be taken from your arm.
- Works with whole blood, serum and plasma.
- Tests for both IgM and IgG antibodies.
- Validated against PCR.
- 10-15 minutes per test.
- Intuitive visual interpretation.
- No special test equipment needed.
Your sample will be tested for a type of antibodies called immunoglobulin G (IgG), and immunoglobin M (IgM).
IgM – This is the first antibody the body makes when it fights a new infection.
IgG – This antibody is found in the blood and protects against infections like Covid-19. IgG can take time to form after an infection.
This antibody develops in most patients at around two weeks after infection and remains in the blood after you have recovered although we do not presently know how long it may persist.
If these antibodies are found in your blood, it indicates that you may have had COVID-19 in the recent past and have developed an immune response against the virus. It is unknown at this point how much protection, if any, antibodies might provide against another infection with SARS-CoV-2. This means that having a positive antibody test does not mean you are immune to COVID-19 and the test result will not enable you to make any decisions, for example, about work or travel
How is the test administered?
A small sample of blood, in obtained from a pin-prick device from a finger, by a trained medical technician.
What are the known and potential risks and benefits of the test?
Potential risks include:
- Possible discomfort, bruising, infection or other complications that can happen during sample collection. Serious complications are very rare.
- Possible incorrect test result (see below for more information).
- The results can help give you some reassurance that you may already have had COVID-19.
- The results of this test may help us understand the spread of COVID-19 within the community.
What does it mean if I have a positive test result?
If you have a positive test result (antibodies are detected), you may have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 at some point in the past. There is still a small chance that the antibodies indicate past infection due to other coronaviruses.
The presence of IgG suggests that the infection happened weeks to months in the past. In some infectious diseases, having IgG gives immunity and protection from catching the disease again. In other diseases, this is not the case. With COVID-19, we do not know yet whether having measurable IgG gives immunity or, if it does, how long the immunity would last. How much it might protect you from catching COVID-19 in the future is unknown.
What does it mean if I have a negative test result?
A negative test result means that the antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 were not found in your sample. In most cases, this will mean that you have not been infected with the virus in the past. Some health conditions might make it difficult for your body to produce antibodies to an infection. However, there is a small chance for this test to give a negative result that is incorrect (false negative) in some people.
A negative result may occur if you are tested early after exposure to the virus and your body hasn’t had time to produce antibodies to infection. This means that you could possibly still have had COVID-19 even though the test is negative.
CMO Overview - Robert Hutchins MBBS, FRCS(Eng), FRCS(Gen.Surg)
- Serological or antibody tests detect whether you have had Covid-19 in the past.
- There is a choice between two antibody test: ELISA or lateral flow immunoassays.
- ELISA is a laboratory-based test which at present takes two to four days to return a result. Lateral flow immunoassays are the "pregnancy test" style assays which give a result in approximately two minutes. Both tests measure the same thing - antibodies to Covid-19 - IgG
- Lateral flow immunoassays also measure IgM. The IgM marker is raised early in the development of the disease and the IgG band is the later marker which infers a degree of immunity. The IgG band that most customers are interested in.
- XF Medical is looking to use one of two independently validated testing products, BioMedomics and Orient Gene. Both are rapid point-of-care lateral flow immunoassay tests which have demonstrated to have the highest sensitivity when compared with other lateral flow immunoassays.
Rapid IgM-IgG Combined Antibody Tests compared to other tests on the market:
- Laboratory based test such as Roche or Abbott, are more expensive and take 2-3 days for each test to be returned. Our test in onsite and returns results within 15 minutes.
- Unlike ELISA, Rapid IgM-IgG Combined Antibody Tests give an IgM and IgG reading, all of which have been validated against positive and negative controls.
- Performance of variety of antibody testing technologies is highly dependent on the time of sampling, but Orient Gene test is validated at day 17+ from the onset of symptoms.