How does COVID-19 antibody testing work? Who can get a test? Are the results accurate? Read our latest expert article to find out…

How does COVID-19 antibody testing work?

COVID-19 antibody testing analyses an individual’s blood for coronavirus antibodies to see if they have been exposed to COVID-19. It can thus detect if a person currently has coronavirus, or has had coronavirus before and has since recovered.

Immunoglobulin M (IgM) is the body’s largest antibody. As the figure shows, it is also the first antibody to appear in response to an initial exposure to an antigen (a toxin or other foreign substance), which induces an immune response in the body. In this way, IgM provides the first line of defence during viral infections. This is followed by the generation of adaptive, high affinity immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses for long-term immunity and immunological memory.

This means that detection of IgM antibodies usually indicates a recent exposure to COVID-19, which indicates a current COVID-19 infection. Detection of IgG antibodies indicates a later stage of infection, which shows you have previously had a COVID-19 infection within the last 6 weeks of taking the test.

The results are displayed in the detection window of the testing device within 15 minutes. This is a huge advantage of antibody testing (also known as serological testing). PCR swab tests need to be sent away for laboratory testing, and can take up to 2–3 days for the results. In addition, the swab test results can only tell whether a person has the virus, not if they have had it and recovered.

The AlphaBiolabs IgM-IgG Combined Antibody Rapid Test will enable key workers and frontline staff to know if they have been infected with, and have recovered from, the virus so they can return to work.

Rapid and accurate COVID-19 antibody test

The COVID-19 antibody testing kits, for professional and business use, can be bought online and sent to a business address. AlphaBiolabs can also offer a sample collection option whereby a trained member of our staff visits your premises to administer the testing.

The screening test is very easy to perform and just involves four simple steps:

  • Collect the finger prick blood sample
  • Add the blood sample to the testing device
  • Add 2–3 drops of buffer to the sample
  • Get your results after 15 minutes

The results appear as (up to) three detection lines in the detection window. A control (C) line appears when the sample flows through the immunoassay device showing that it is operational. The M line appears when the coronavirus IgM antibody has been detected, and the appearance of the G line denotes that the coronavirus IgG antibody has been detected.

The AlphaBiolabs IgM-IgG Combined Antibody Rapid Test is currently available on our website. For more information, please contact our Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300, or email