Private COVID 19 Antibody testing
We would advise patients to view the following article in relation to private antibody tests for COVID 19. These are not recommended by the Government.
Antibody testing programme roll out for NHS staff and patients
All NHS Regions in England have been asked to commence antibody testing as soon as their laboratory capacity permits, as set out per the Public Health England guidelines which confirm the screening will be rolled out to NHS staff first. The antibody testing programme will provide information on the prevalence of COVID-19 in different regions of the country and help better understand how the disease spreads. This will work alongside PCR (covid swab) testing which confirms whether or not someone currently has the virus.
It is important to reiterate that the science is currently uncertain and a positive test result for antibodies only means than an individual has had COVID-19. There is currently no evidence to show it means someone cannot be re-infected with the virus, or pass it on to others, or have protective immunity. All infection prevention and control measures must continue to be in place irrespective of the presence of antibodies.
Public Health England are currently conducting a study to establish whether antibodies detected by this test do indicate immunity to COVID-19.
The Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust (RBFT) and the Berkshire Surrey Pathology Service (BSPS) will liaise with GP Practices later in June 2020 as to when patient antibody tests will commence in this area as this will be dependent on BSPS laboratory capacity in the first instance.