What is COVID-19?

COVID-19, is short for “coronavirus disease 2019”, a respiratory infection caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the large family of coronaviruses and was first discovered in Wuhan (China) in December 2019. The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has then been rising every day since.

COVID-19 presents with flu-like symptoms similar to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus), which are two other coronavirus-caused diseases that caused global outbreaks in 2003 and 2012 respectively. Although COVID-19 is much less fatal than SARS and MERS, it’s global spread is unprecedented.

Natural progression of COVID-19

COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated by coughing and sneezing, but also when we talk. We can also catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces. Exactly how long the SARS-CoV-2 virus can survive outside the body is unknown, but other coronaviruses have been previously been shown to survive from a couple of hours to a week, depending on the material of the surface if not disinfected.

After infection, it can take from 2-14 days before symptoms appear. This is called the incubation period. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are the following:

It is also fairly common to lose one’s sense of smell and taste for a period of time. Diarrhoea has also been reported as a symptom.
Some people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus do not experience any symptoms at all. Asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 can only be revealed through testing.

COVID-19 Siemens Total Antibody

Blood test £140

A test for those who want to know if they've had a COVID-19 infection, with or without symptoms. Antibody tests should be done at least three weeks after the onset of disease for the most accurate results. Right now we're adding a free Vitamin-D test when you take your Siemens Atellica IM COV2 total antibody test. Having low vitamin D levels is a common problem in the UK, but most people don't know if they are in the risk zone. Vitamin D also plays a role in the immune system. Please note that the Harley Street Consulting Clinic only accepts asymptomatic people. If you have symptoms, please use the NHS testing service.

COVID-19 Total Antibodies

The Siemens Atellica IM COV2T test offered, was shown to be the most accurate, and the only one to meet MHRA's Target Product Profile (TPP), in a head-to-head comparison published by Public Health England in July 2020

Please note that it is not yet known if, or to which degree, COVID-19 antibodies can offer protection against future infection, or for how long any potential immunity will last. You should also know that some people may have recovered from a COVID-19 infection without having detectable levels of antibodies in their blood.

What are COVID-19 Total Antibodies?

A COVID-19 antibody test, also known as a serology test, does not detect the presence of the virus itself, but rather the response of our immune system against it. There are different types ('classes') of antibodies generated by our immune system after contracting COVID-19, the two most important ones are:

The Siemens total antibody test gives you a combined IgM and IgG result, which means you'll find out if antibodies were detected, but not which class they belong to.
As of today, there is unfortunately not enough evidence that can guarantee that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection. However, most experts expect that the presence of antibodies should at least provide “some level of protection”.

The Siemens antibody test detects antibodies against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the S1 spike protein. The S1 RBD is currently the most common target of vaccine development as antibodies against S1 RBD can block virus entry into cells and therefore have a high likelihood of being neutralising (i.e. protective).

Why is this test important?

Many people are curious to find out whether or not they've already had COVID-19. The most common symptoms, such as fever, dry cough and tiredness, are also common in many other infections. If you're curious to find out whether you've already had COVID-19, an antibody test is the best way to find that out. Knowing if one previously was infected with COVID-19 is not only of interest to the tested individual, but also important from a public health point of view.

NOTE If you test positive for COVID-19 antibodies, you may also be able to help in the fight against COVID-19. The NHS needs people with antibodies to donate blood plasma (on a voluntary basis!) as part of a national effort against the virus. Right now the NHS is conducting clinical research to evaluate different treatments against COVID-19, testing how effective convalescent plasma (plasma from people who’ve recovered from COVID-19) is for treating patients who are still ill.


What does a positive COVID-19 antibody test result mean?
A positive result could mean a past, recent, or even a current COVID-19 infection that has been going on long enough for antibodies to develop. The medical report that you receive from one of our doctors helps you interpret your test results in combination with your responses to the COVID-19 questionnaire that you fill out when you book your test. If the test is taken as recommended, i.e. 3 weeks after symptom onset, it is most likely that a positive result will show recovery from a past COVID-19 infection.

The Siemens total antibody tests offers a high specificity, which means that the risk for false positive results are minimal. Please note that it is not yet known if, or to which degree, COVID-19 antibodies can offer protection against future infection, or for how long any potential immunity will last.

What does a negative COVID-19 antibody test result mean?
A negative result for COVID-19 antibodies could mean that a person has never had COVID-19, or that they were only recently infected and antibodies have not had time to develop. You should also know that some people may have recovered from a COVID-19 infection without having detectable levels of antibodies in their blood.

When should you test your COVID-19 Antibodies?

Due to the relatively long time it takes for the body’s immune system to produce antibodies, the COVID-19 antibody test is not suitable to diagnose an acute infection. The purpose of this test is to find out if one has had COVID-19 in the past.

One week after the appearance of symptoms, antibodies can be detected in the blood in about 50% of COVID-19 patients. At 10 days after symptom onset, 75% of patients have detectable levels of antibodies in their blood. For the most accurate results, it is recommended to wait 3 weeks or more after the symptoms started, before taking an antibody test.

Other Considerations

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