Getting a Covid-19 antibody test

Even though I was pretty sure that I had coronavirus back in March, I still wanted confirmation of that by test. Up until now, the tests for antibodies have had some bad press for not being too accurate, but there is a test centre in Hammersmith which uses South Korean tests which have high specificity and high sensitivity, as opposed to tests that have high specificity but low sensitivity. Here’s a screenshot of the test compared to other tests (taken from the Corona Test Centre’s website): 

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The antibodies they are looking out for are IgM and IgG. IgM are produced around the time of the infection and during recovery, but tail off some time after the event. IgG are also produced around the time of infection and they stay around quite a lot longer than IgM after the event. Here’s a screenshot from the Corona Test Centre website of the relative levels of IgM and IgG:

The test would show positive or negative figures for IgM or IgG. A positive figure for either would indicate presence of antibodies for Covid-19.

I cycled over to the Test Centre, which was in a small side street and in an old hall. They gave me a forehead temperature check, checked my details and then took me through to a refashion old hall to see the nurse. There wasn’t anyone else having a test there that I could see. The nurse was really friendly and put me at ease. She administered a pinprick to my finger and drew some blood into a pipette. She then sealed in a bag and that was it. Simple.

8 hours later, I got my results emailed to me. I had positive results for both IgM and IgG antibodies which they said indicates that I still recovering from a bout of Covid-19 but had a level of immunity.

They are careful to point out that this doesn’t mean that I couldn’t catch it again, so my behaviours shouldn’t change based on these results.

Do I think it was worth the cost? (The tests are offered at £175) Yes, I think it’s just about worth the price. It’s good knowing that I should have a good level of immunity going forward, at least for the medium term.

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