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COVID-19 Antibody Test

Edgbaston Private Medical Practice is now able to offer testing for Covid-19 antibodies, the test is carried out in our partner laboratory. The laboratory provides the approved Abbott Covid-19 antibody test. The Abbott coronavirus antibody test is 99% accurate and is approved for use by Public Health England. It has also been given the CE mark so shows it complies with EU safety rules.



The test looks for specific IgG antibodies, which appear during an established immune reaction, rather than IgM antibodies which are triggered by an acute immune response and are therefore less reliable.

At this time, the global scientific community is still assessing the meaning of the detection of antibodies in our fight against Covid and there is divided opinion on whether antibodies confer immunity. Therefore this test can inform someone if they have contracted Covid-19 in the past but at present cannot confirm if they are immune.

The test can only be carried out at a minimum of 14 days after symptoms started.

The COVID-19 Antibody test requires a blood sample to be taken at our practice before being sent the same day to our partner laboratory.

COVID Antibody Test Specifications

Type of Test: Lab based antibody test

Accuracy of Test: 99.9% Sensitivity for presence of antibodies

Turnaround Time of Test: 1-2 Working days

Cost of GP Consultation and Test: £140

COVID-19 Swab Test

We are now offering a PCR swab test which detects active presence of the virus i.e. shows that you currently have COVID-19.

These are the tests currently used by the NHS and approved by Public Health England and are fully compliant with government guidelines.

Swabs are analysed in a laboratory with results back in 2-3 working days. 

Many people are now requesting Covid-19 Swab test to rule COVID 19 infection before travel or resuming other activities.

If you require this test with a certifcate for travel purposes please call the practice for further information.


The cost of the consultation with our doctor at the practice, PCR swab test undertaken by our clinician, Pathology report and

Medical Certificate signed by the doctor indicating that you are 'Covid 19 Negative'  is £185.

Please ensure you wear a mask to your appointment. 

Also please bring your passport to your appointment as your passport number will be required for your Medical Certificate for the Airline.


I have been to my appointment and had my PCR swab test - What happens next?

We will receive your result from the laboratory approximately 2-3 days after you have been to your appointment. This all depends on how busy the laboratory are. We will then email you the Medical certificate (Medical Report) stating that you are 'Covid 19 Negative' along with the laboratory (Pathology) report.

On the laboratory report it will clearly state the date and time the test was undertaken.  It will also state the date and time you receive the test results.  

These documents can be printed off and taken to the airport so that you have a hardcopy to hand.

Some countries will accept electronic copies but please check that with your airline or country of destination embassy website.


Before booking an appointment, please answer these following questions;

  • You do not have a fever 
  • You do not have a new, continuous cough 
  • You do not have shortness of breath
  • You have not been in contact with someone suspected or known to have coronavirus

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, please self isolate for 14 days and contact the practice if you require GP advice.



When should you have a coronavirus antibody test?

The antibody test is best done 14-21 days after your first symptom(s). The antibody test is both sensitive and specific to the IgG antibody of COVID-19. A positive test result indicates you have had the virus. However, it is not yet known whether this grants any immunity to the virus. This means you may be able to get the virus more than once. A negative test result completed in the correct time frame would suggest you have not previously suffered from COVID-19 and therefore may develop the infection if exposed at a later date.

How does the COVID-19 antibody test work?

Antibody testing is done by having a blood sample taken in our practice by our doctor.

It is then sent to our laboratory partner for analysis.

Previous testing kits have claimed to give you instant results (based on IgM and IgG antibodies), however, there are questions about the accuracy of these tests. Therefore, we recommend using a lab-based test. Lab-based tests guarantee that results are analysed in a controlled, sterile environment with minimum risk of contamination.

How reliable is the coronavirus antibody test?

Finding a reliable and safe test for our patients has been a priority for us. We have researched many products in partnership with our UK laboratory to ensure the test that we offer provides trusted results. We have chosen to use the Abbott COVID-19 antibody test and our laboratory uses technology created by leading brands for diagnostic tests. The Abbott coronavirus antibody test is 99% accurate and is approved for use by Public Health England. It has also been given the CE mark so shows it complies with EU safety rules.

The test looks for specific IgG antibodies, which appear during an established immune reaction, rather than IgM antibodies which are triggered by an acute immune response and are therefore less reliable.

Antibody testing is a key pillar of the government strategy in boosting overall testing capacity for coronavirus. It is an important part of monitoring the spread of coronavirus. It allows an understanding of those who have recovered from the virus and is a key way to allow businesses to return to some element of normality until a vaccination is ready.

What should I do if I think I have coronavirus now?

The PCR swab coronavirus test will help to establish whether you currently have the active virus.  Please do not come into the practice and remember you and your household members will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

The IgG antibody blood test will show you if you have had coronavirus. It can be particularly helpful for “silent carriers” who may have had coronavirus but not experienced any symptoms.

Because there is still so much unknown about coronavirus, we don’t know how long the antibodies will remain in your system. Other coronavirus antibodies, such as ones that cause the common cold, usually stay in the body for 1-2 years. Yet for more serious diseases, like MERS or SARS, the length is still unknown. We know from SARS that having the infection did not grant immunity. However, those experiencing a second infection seemed to have milder symptoms. We will not know whether this is also the case with COVID-19 until further research is available.


Is the Abbott test approved for use by Public Health England?

Yes. Public Health England (PHE) has approved the use of Abbott’s coronavirus antibody test. Antibody testing will be a key part of the government’s strategy in managing the COVID-19 epidemic.

Why should I choose your test?

We have carefully selected an antibody test designed and developed by Abbott Laboratories, one of the world leaders in the development of laboratory testing and equipment.

The test is run by our trusted partner Laboratory – The Doctors Laboratory.

They are the largest private laboratory in the UK, conducting testing for the NHS and delivering Public Health England approved COVID-19 PCR swab testing.

Our testing is NOT taking vital resources away from the NHS. Our laboratory partner has confirmed that they can guarantee a continuous supply of tests for our patients, and will only offer testing we can confidently fulfil.

What antibodies do you test for?

We test for the SARS CoV 2 IgG Antibody. The presence of IgG antibodies helps to identify if you have previously been infected with/exposed to COVID-19.

Our lab uses Abbott Analysers including the ARCHITECT i2000SR system and uses Abbott’s chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (CMIA) to detect IgG antibodies.

How accurate is your test?

Abbott have confirmed sensitivity and specificity of >99%. In order to provide you with accurate results, it is sensible to conduct your test 14 days or more after the start of any symptoms. If the tests are done too early, they may be negative for IgG antibodies.

Why don’t you test for IgM?

Currently, there are no IgM tests that provide accurate enough results. We pride ourselves on only offering tests of the highest quality and accuracy.

Does this test give me instant results?

We have opted for a laboratory-based test rather than a “pregnancy test” style kit, which means you are provided with the most accurate results. As such, results are not available instantaneously. The turn-around time is typically 1-2 working days.

Does a positive antibody test mean I am immune to COVID-19?

COVID-19 is still very new and we have a lot to learn. At this stage, it is unclear if positive antibodies will protect you definitively from getting COVID-19 again or how long antibodies will remain present. As such, it is important that you continue to follow Government guidelines and social distancing even if you do have antibodies.

Antibody testing helps us to understand who has been infected with the virus. This is information is essential in helping to understand the true spread of infections, how serious the infections are and most importantly help to establish if the preventative measures we have all been taking are working.

Additionally, it will help us to understand the risk of the virus in different populations.

In due course we are likely to learn if antibodies protect us against reinfection with COVID-19, research is ongoing.

When should I have the test?

You may have the test if you are symptom free and it has been 2 weeks or more since your symptoms started.

If you have never had symptoms, you may still have the test as you may have been a “silent carrier”.

Can I have the test if I have symptoms?

The antibody test is likely to be unhelpful, as it takes several days for antibodies to appear in the bloodstream.

You should have a PCR (antigen) swab test which we can send directly to your home address.

Please do not attend our clinics if you are symptomatic.

How can testing help me and my staff get back to work?

We would suggest you consider doing both the PCR swab and antibody testing.

This will help to pick up those who have current infections and should be self- isolating, but also help to understand who has had COVID-19 in the past.

How much does the test cost?

It costs £140 for an antibody test conducted by our doctor and that includes the consultation.

How long does it take to get results?

Typically, 1-2 working days from arrival at our laboratory.

You will receive your results via SMS once they are available.

Edgbaston Private Medical Practice is a trading name of Lister Medical Group Ltd, Registered Office: 44 George Road, Birmingham, B15 1PL, UK Company Reg No.: 09594751