COVID - Antibody Testing
All laboratories who are running COVID-19 Antibody testing have been asked to pause from providing a self-collection COVID-19 Antibody service. This is because a national review is being carried out by the MHRA around the positioning of self-collected blood samples for COVID-19 Antibody testing. This review does not, therefore, impact in any way on the taking or reporting of venous samples (SST / Serum) or COVID-19 PCR (Swab) testing.
During this pause, we will not send out any more packs for self-collected COVID antibody tests but any self-collected samples for COVID Antibody tests that have been received, or have already been collected and sent to the laboratory, will be reported in the normal way - and the result that is issued will include an additional comment confirming that the result is laboratory verified.
We will update you as soon as we can to confirm the outcome of the MHRA review of self-collected samples for COVID-19 Antibody testing and to let you know when we can begin to see our patients at 120 Harley Street to draw blood for laboratory analysis.
Coronavirus - COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) IgG Antibody
With effect from Monday 11th May
Molecular testing (PCR Swab) will identify people with the virus. Antibody testing can tell whether a person has been previously infected. Most patients who recover from coronavirus have been found to produce antibodies, but it is not yet known if an individual with a positive result showing presence of IgG levels following being infected with SARS-CoV-2 will be protected, either fully or partially from future infection, or for how long protective immunity may last.
Testing should be undertaken 14 days or more following exposure or onset of symptoms. The incubation period of COVID-19 ranges from between 1 to 14 days, with the majority of cases manifesting with symptoms at 3 - 5 days. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, dry cough and difficulty breathing. These symptoms have the potential to develop into a very severe acute respiratory illness. Evidence shows that fatality rates increase with age, gender, body weight, ethnicity and comorbidities.
The host immune system reacts to the infection by SARS-CoV-2 by producing antibodies from a few days to 2 weeks after the onset of symptoms. Specific IgG antibodies are produced in the later stages of infection to SARS-CoV-2, and are detectable after RNA is no longer detectable.
The persistence of IgG antibodies allows identification of people who have been infected by SARS-CoV-2. Test development relating to SARS-CoV-2 is rapidly evolving. Laboratory review of new assays as they become available is essential.
Date posted: 26 May 2020
Disclaimer: We have taken every precaution in making sure that the information contained in these documents is accurate. The nature of the information provided is for your general information only. The content does not constitute legal or other professional advice.