frequently asked questions


Why are antibodies important?
Plasma cells release large amounts of antibodies into the body’s circulation.

This protects us in two main ways. First, antibodies can bind to antigens on the outside of the pathogen to stop it from entering our cells. This is particularly important for viruses, which enter human cells to replicate (so if the virus is stopped from entering your cells, you won’t get sick).

Second, by binding to antigens on the pathogen, antibodies also signal other white blood cells known as phagocytic cells, which engulf and destroy the pathogen. So, in short, antibodies can both neutralise a virus and mark it for destruction.

What is a COVID antibody test and how does it work?

It's a test that measures the quantity of antibodies in your blood to various parts of the virus, allowing us to predict your degree of protection and how long it will likely last. The test starts with a small sample of blood, obtained from a simple finger-prick with a self-testing kit, which is sent to a central laboratory to be put into the Attomarker instrument. This generates the highly accurate results and the key findings and predictions on protection.

How accurate is my test?
Test accuracy is measured by scientists in two ways. Sensitivity is how likely the test is to detect a positive result. Specificity shows how specific the antibodies are to COVID-19 and thus how trustworthy a negative result is. Attomarker’s Triple Antibody Test achieves 95% sensitivity and 96% specificity.
Will it tell me if my vaccine has worked?
The results will show whether you have COVID-19 antibodies in your blood; either natural antibodies after an infection or vaccine antibodies. An antibody-positive test suggests protection from the coronavirus infection.
How do I get a copy of my antibody results?

The results will be generated as a report, with graphs, explanations and guidance. These are emailed directly to you, along with how to access a greater level of explanation and guidance if you want to know even more. They are also available from the Biomark app.

Will the test tell me whether I have COVID-19 now?

No. It is not an antigen test or a PCR test replacement. If you think you have COVID-19 now, please follow NHS advice. This is not the right test at this moment if you suspect you already have Covid-19.

Does the test meet the standards laid down by the UK regulator?

The test carries a full CE Mark and registration with the MHRA, the UK national agency that regulates medical products and technology. It is fully approved.

How soon after the vaccine can I take an antibody test?
A test two-three weeks after your second jab is recommended, but you can try earlier. If you want to know how your antibody levels are holding up – they will fall with time – then a test three months post-vaccine would show the change in levels.
Who will administer the test?

There are a number of steps but they are broadly split into taking the small blood sample and the processing of this sample through the technology. The blood sample is collected from a simple finger-prick self-collection kit which we send to you after you have ordered the test. This is then sent to the central laboratory to arrive the next day and they will process it immediately, using their trained laboratory technicians. Your results are generally available within 24-48 hours of attending for your blood sample.