COVID-19 Rapid Antibody Screening Test (Roche)

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This test is performed using a fingerpick blood sample by a pharmacist in-store in our Santry's Pharmacy Ardfallen on the Douglas Rd in Cork. You will receive a phone-call to book your test-time within 2 working days.

Rapid Antibody Screening Results Available within 15 mins.

This test helps all patients understand if an illness they had more than 14 days ago was COVID-19. The antibody test checks your blood for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies that your body has produced in response to being exposed to the virus.

Antibody tests are not recommended for diagnosing an active COVID-19 infection. Research is ongoing to see if antibodies provide immunity to future coronavirus infections in a person.

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Understanding Antibody Test Results

Q 1: What does a positive antibody test mean?

A 1: If you have a positive test result on a SARS-CoV-2 antibody test, it is possible that you have recently or previously had COVID-19. There is also a chance that the positive result is wrong, known as a false positive. False positive tests may occur:

  • Because antibody tests may detect coronaviruses other than SARS-CoV-2, such as those that cause the common cold.
  • When testing is done in a population without many cases of COVID-19 infections. These types of tests work best in populations with higher rates of infection.
Q 2: Does a positive antibody test mean that I am immune to COVID-19?

A 2: A positive antibody test does not necessarily mean you are immune from SARS-CoV-2 infection, as it is not known whether having antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 will protect you from getting infected again. It also does not indicate whether you can infect other people with SARS-CoV-2.

Q 3: What does a negative antibody test mean?

A 3: A negative result on a SARS-CoV-2 antibody test means antibodies to the virus were not detected in your sample. It could mean:

  • You have not been infected with COVID-19 previously.
  • You had COVID-19 in the past but you did not develop or have not yet developed detectable antibodies. It is unknown if all infected individuals will develop a detectable antibody response.
  • The result may be wrong, known as a false negative. This occurs when the test does not detect antibodies even though you may have specific antibodies for SARS-CoV-2.

There are several reasons why negative antibody test results do not indicate with certainty that you do not have or have not had an infection with SARS-CoV-2.  For example, if you are tested soon after being infected with SARS-CoV-2, the test may be negative, because it takes time for the body to develop an antibody response. It is also unknown if antibody levels decline over time to undetectable levels.

Q 4: How long after I am infected will antibodies stay in my system?

A 4: The long term effect of the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 still needs to be determined, but it is known that antibody levels to other coronaviruses fall over time (12-52 weeks) and re-infection has been seen. Antibody levels peak at 21-28 days after infection and remain stable for 4 months after diagnosis. The neutralising effect of the antibodies reduces over time. It might be possible that your antibody response is related to how sick you were the first time you had Covid-19 i.e. If you had no symptoms (or mild symptoms), your antibody levels might be lower than someone who was very sick when they had COVID-19.

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