COVID-19 ELISA Antibody Test
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The COVID-19 ELISA Antibody Test identifies three types of antibody that are created in response to SARS-CoV-2. By doing so, this can confirm if you have previously been infected with COVID-19. These antibodies are Immunoglobulin M, Immunoglobulin G and Immunoglobulin A.
This method of testing has an accuracy of 99.8%. Sample collection can take place at home, before sending this off to the UKAS registered laboratory that we have partnered with to offer this service.
This test has been approved by the FDA, and is being considered by Public Health England.
What is the COVID-19 ELISA Antibody Test for?
This type of COVID-19 test confirms if you have previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2. It is important to note that this test does not confirm if you are completely immune to COVID-19, as there is currently no evidence to prove that people cannot be infected with the coronavirus more than once. Furthermore, the COVID-19 ELISA Antibody Test does not show if you are currently infected with the coronavirus. If you would like to find out if you are currently infected with COVID-19, you should take the PCR test.
Does this type of COVID-19 test show that I am immune to the coronavirus?
No. There is no evidence that a person can be completely immune to COVID-19, and subsequently, there is no test that can prove you are immune.
What is the ELISA method?
ELISA stands for Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay. This type of test is designed to identify and measure the quantity of antibodies within a blood sample that are specific to an illness or disease.
First, a blood sample will need to be collected which can either be done at home, or at one of our clinics. This will then be sent to the laboratory for examination. At the laboratory, the sample will be placed in a test tube or petri dish with the relevant antigen, which in this case is SARS-CoV-2. If antibodies that are specific to this antigen are present within the blood, the sample will bind with the antigen in the container. The sample will also change colour when a substrate is added. An enzyme is involved in the test, which latches onto the antibodies and speeds up this colour changing reaction. The extent of the reaction can indicate the quantity of antibodies as well as if they are present.
Aside from COVID-19, ELISA tests can be used to confirm if you have Sexually Transmitted Infections such as HIV, as well as illnesses such as Lyme disease and deficiencies such as pernicious anemia.
What are the benefits of the ELISA method?
In comparison to other testing methods, the ELISA method is simple to carry out and is generally a cheaper option. The test yields results quickly, and multiple samples can be examined at one time.
Furthermore, the ELISA method has many other uses apart from identifying SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, such as determining if people have been infected with Sexually Transmitted Diseases. This scientific method is commonly used and is proven to be effective.
How does this test differ from other antibody tests?
The majority of the other COVID-19 antibody tests on the market only identify the presence of IgG antibodies or both IgG and IgM antibodies.
In contrast to this, the COVID-19 ELISA Antibody Test confirms if IgG, IgM and IgA antibodies are present within your blood.
What are IgM, IgG and IgA antibodies?
Immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies are created by the body as an initial response to an infection.
Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies are the most common type of antibody. IgG antibodies are linked to immunity and can help to protect the body should a person be infected with the same illness for a second time.
Immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies are also common. They help to fight antigens and can be created during allergic reactions. IgA antibodies are generally found in respiratory passages and are also located in tears and saliva.
When should I take this COVID-19 test?
You should take the COVID-19 ELISA Antibody Test at least 14 days after you first experience symptoms. This is because antibodies do not develop straight away, and you need to give your body time to fight off the infection. If you take the test too early after experiencing symptoms, you may be at risk of receiving a false negative result.
Is the COVID-19 ELISA Antibody Test accurate?
The ELISA Antibody Test has a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of at least 99.8%. These statistics are based on samples that are collected a minimum of 14 days after symptoms are first present.
Overall, the test has an accuracy of 99.8%. The laboratory that we have partnered with has conducted the necessary tests to check that results for capillary samples match those for venous samples.
A report by the Scientific Advisory Panel stated that this testing method was highly accurate, even when testing samples that were collected 10 days after symptoms were first present. The ELISA Test was claimed to have a specificity of 100%. This was proven by carrying out the test on a control group of samples that were collected before the pandemic. The ELISA test did not yield any false positive readings for samples in this group, therefore achieving a specificity of 100%.
Furthermore, the report also displayed that the ELISA method maintained a high level of accuracy after the level of antibodies in the body decreased following the initial infection. It is thought that the detection rate of antibodies is at its highest around 3 weeks after infection, and this will eventually decrease after 8 weeks. The ELISA method was shown to still produce accurate results after this 8-week period.
You can read the full report here.
How long does it take to receive results?
Once the sample has been collected, whether this takes place at home or at one of our clinics, the sample must be sent to the UKAS registered laboratory that we have partnered with. When the laboratory has received this, you will be sent your results within 48 hours. A pre-paid postage envelope will be included if you choose to purchase a test kit for home sample collection.
What do the results mean?
If you receive a positive result for any of the antibodies, this indicates that you were recently infected with SARS-CoV-2.
If you receive a negative result, this implies that you have not been infected with COVID-19. Please note that there is a chance that you may receive a false negative result if you use the test too early after the initial infection.
What components come with the kit?
- Cotton wool
- Alcohol pad
- Micro sampling tube
- Plastic container
- Information form
- Pre-paid postage envelope
When you purchase the ELISA Antibody Test for home sample collection, you will receive the following components:
You will also be entitled to a pre-test and post-test consultation when you purchase the ELISA antibody test.
How do I collect a sample at home?
Initially, you must wash your hands with soap and warm water. You should try and make sure that your hands are warm as this will help to stimulate the blood flow.
Use the alcohol pad to disinfect the tip of the index or middle finger. Following this, you should place the lancet against the tip of your finger and pierce the skin. Wipe away the first drop of blood with the cotton pad.
Next, you must transfer blood droplets into the micro sampling tube. You may find that massaging your fingers and standing up so that your hands are pointed towards the floor will help to stimulate the blood flow. Fill the tube up to the line.
Seal the tube and fill in your information on the label, before placing this in the plastic container. Put a plaster on the tip of your finger where the lancet pierced the skin.
Fill in the information form and place this in the pre-paid postage envelope alongside your sample. Send this off to the laboratory for analysis.
Do I need to do anything before I collect a sample?
If you are collecting a sample at home, you should ensure that your hands are warm as this will help to stimulate the blood flow. Furthermore, you must wash your hands with warm water and soap before collecting a blood sample.
Whether or not you are collecting a sample at home or in-clinic, you should also ensure that you are hydrated, as this will make it easier to obtain a sample.
Can I have my sample collected in-clinic?
Yes. You can arrange to visit one of our sites across the UK, where our qualified Phlebotomists will take a blood sample. This will be a venous sample, taken directly from the vein.
Following this, we will send your sample to the laboratory for analysis.
Can a Phlebotomist visit my home to collect a sample?
Yes. We can arrange for one of our qualified Phlebotomists to visit your home or workplace to collect a venous sample.
Why should I choose this type of COVID-19 test?
The COVID-19 ELISA Antibody Test identifies the presence of three types of SARS-CoV-2 antibody: IgM, IgG and IgA. The majority of the other antibody tests on the market confirm the presence of only one or two antibodies.
Furthermore, the ELISA method is proven to be a very accurate method of detecting antibodies related to specific illnesses, even when samples are taken several weeks after the initial infection.
You can easily collect the sample for your ELISA Antibody Test at home. The kit comes with all of the components that you will need to carry out sample collection, including a pre-paid postage envelope.
Important – Posting your sample to the lab
Royal Mail is not accepting any Covid-19 samples at post office counters or non-priority postboxes. All samples must be posted in a priority postbox.
This is because the postal workers collecting from priority postboxes have the proper PPE (personal protective equipment) in order to safely handle the samples.
Your return envelope will have a sticker identifying it as a Covid-19 sample.
How do I collect a sample?
- Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
- Ensure that your hands are warm and that you are in a warm environment, as this will help to stimulate the blood flow.
- Remove the top of the micro sampling collection tube.
- Massage the tip of your index finger to stimulate the blood flow.
- Use the alcohol wipe to clean the tip of the finger.
- Use the lancet to prick the tip of the finger.
- Use the cotton pad to wipe away the first drop of blood. Transfer blood into the tube, using the lip on the side of the tube to assist with this. You may also find that standing up and letting your hands fall in a downwards position will help the blood to flow. Fill the tube up to at least 0.5ml line. You can fill it up with more if possible. If you are unable to draw blood from your index finger, use one of the other lancets provided on another finger.
- Place the top onto the tube and ensure it is secure. Gently tip the tube backwards and forwards 8 to 10 times.
- Write your name and date of birth onto the tube label. Ensure this is legible.
- Place the sealed tube inside the biohazard pouch and seal it.
- Fill out the pathology form.
- Place the sealed biohazard pouch and the pathology form into the plastic postal envelope provided.
- Post the envelope to the laboratory in a nominated post box as per the instructions provided with the kit.
- You must ensure that your test is completed as soon as you receive the test kit and concluded with the laboratory within 14 days