Same virus tested, but a very different test
Your Sexual Health now offers two kinds of COVID-19 test – a PCR swab test and an ELISA antibody test. In this article we take a look at how both of these tests work so that you can tell the difference.
COVID-19 PCR Swab Test
Summary: The COVID-19 PCR Test diagnoses present infection using a swab sample taken from the nose and the throat. It can say whether you have COVID-19 at the time you are tested.
Turnaround Time: 2 – 3 days upon reaching the laboratory (allow time for postage)
Sample: Swab sample from the nose and throat, collected using a home sample collection kit from Your Sexual Health
When to take it: If you are showing symptoms or if you have come into contact with a confirmed case
Testing method: Laboratory test, using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) which identifies the virus RNA from the sample to say if a person has COVID-19
Accuracy: Close to 100% accurate on people who are exhibiting symptoms according to Public Health England. These are the same tests used by the NHS.
The COVID-19 Antibody Test
Summary: The COVID-19 Antibody test can tell you whether you’ve previously had COVID-19 by identifying IgG antibodies in your blood. This may show if a person is immune and therefore enable them or their employer to start planning a return to normal life.
Cost: £99 as a Home Test
Turnaround Time: Less than 1 day upon reaching the laboratory (allow time for postage)
Sample: Blood sample, collected using a finger prick sample collection kit from Your Sexual Health
When to take it: If you want to know if you’ve had COVID-19 in the past, this may suggest immunity although more research is required
Testing method: Laboratory test, using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) which identifies the IgG antibodies your body creates when fighting COVID-19
Accuracy: 99% accurate in studies performed by the manufacturer
Both tests are carried out in a UKAS Accredited Lab
There is a lot in the news at the moment about inaccurate COVID-19 tests. The majority of this news focuses on tests that are carried out using point of care instant cassette devices. You will be pleased to know that all tests carried out by Your Sexual Health are performed in a UKAS Accredited Laboratory using testing methods that are approved by Public Health England.
Our laboratories adhere to strict standards throughout the testing process and have carried out extensive due diligence prior to carrying out the tests. This information is passed on to the Your Sexual Health procurement team, who carry out their own checks and due diligence before bringing the service to you. You can be confident when carrying out any test with Your Sexual Health.