There are two types of Coronavirus antibody test available at Nomad; in-clinic or at-home. Both tests are designed to detect the presence of COVID-19 antibodies, but how to they work? In this blog, a senior Nomad clinician discusses the types of antibody tests & how they work.
How Does a Coronavirus Antibody Test Work
The types of test used to detect COVID-19 antibodies are routinely referred to as laminar flow immunochromatography assays. This is an enzyme-linked immunoassay test that detects the presence of a protein called a ligand, in a liquid sample. When a buffer solution is applied to a blood sample, an enzyme-based reaction occurs that produces a detectable colour change. This change can be interpeted by a clinician, along with other information, as an occurance of antibodies.
How is the sample collected for coronvirus antibody testing?
You will either – attend a Nomad location for In-Clinic Coronavirus Antibody Testing or complete a Coronavirus Antibody Home Test Kit. In-clinic testing, which provides increased accuracy, requires the collection of a blood sample with a Nomad clinician. Home test kits require you to take a smaller finger prick blood sample under the supervision of a Nomad clinician during a video consultation.
How is my Sample Tested for Coronavirus Antibodies
Blood samples take by Nomad clinicians for In-Clinic Coronavirus Antibody Testing are sent to our laboratory. The laboratory tests your sample for antibodies using a licensed & approved testing substrate. The results are then returned to us for a clinician to read & interpret, before before we send them to you securely. This method anonymously forwards the results to the public health teams to assist in calculating the levels of local and national protection.
The a Coronavirus Antibody Home Test Kit requires several drops of blood to be collected in a testing cassette. Under supervision by a Nomad clinician, you will add a specific number of drops of buffer solution. The solution is absorbed along a testing strip, adding markers at certain points. These lines are a coloured response to specific anibodies. Your Nomad clinician will interpret your test response in real-time and advise you on your results.
Both COVID-19 antibody test services are qualitative only and do not provide any indication of quantitative levels as seen in some other blood tests such as Hepatitis B. The World Health Organisation has data to suggest what an effective production level is or to determine how long the IgG remains protective.
The results of these test results, along with other information such as time of infection or exposure to the infection, will provide a probability of your immunological status. Interpretation of the data needs to be undertaken by a clinician, which is why using the home test kit must be supervised via video consultation.
How to get a coronavirus antibody test
In-clinic COVID-19 antibody testing is available at select Nomad locations. Request an appointment to get yourself tested. For home testing, simply order your COVID-19 Antibody Self-Test Kit, we’ll book you in for a video consultation, and your Nomad clinician will guide you through the test & your results.