Last week we were excited to launch our new COVID-19 Immunity Tracker. As we are proud to now offer two affordable tests that can detect antibodies in response to COVID-19, we thought we would share some more detail about our latest test and how it differentiates from our existing Home Total Antibody test.
COVID-19 Immunity Tracker test
Our new COVID-19 Immunity Tracker detects previous exposure by accurately measuring the level of IgG antibodies to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 to get a better understanding of your immune response.
What are IgG antibodies?
The Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC) advise that antibodies in relation to COVID-19 become detectable 1-3 weeks after symptom onset, at which time evidence suggests that infectiousness likely is greatly decreased and that some degree of immunity from future infection has developed.
What does spike protein mean?
Members of the coronavirus family have sharp bumps that protrude from the surface of their outer envelopes. Those bumps are known as spike proteins. Spike proteins play an important role in how these viruses infect their hosts.
For COVID-19, the vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna give instructions to our immune system to make our own version of the spike protein, which happens shortly following immunisation. Production of the spike inside our cells then starts the process of protective antibody and T cell production.
By measuring the level of IgG antibodies to the spike protein, the test provides an understanding of your immune response following natural infection and vaccination.
How does the COVID-19 Immunity Tracker test compare to the Home Total Antibody test?
Our Home Total Antibody test can detect IgM and IgG antibodies, which appear in the blood after infection.
The Home Total Antibody measures IgG and IgM antibodies to the nucleocapsid protein rather than the spike protein of the virus, meaning that it will only pick up immune response to natural infections as opposed to vaccination.
Finally, the Home Total Antibody only provides you with a Yes/No answer to whether or not you have developed antibodies, whereas the Immunity Tracker gives you an actual count of antibodies present in your immune system. By doing so, it allows you to track how your antibody count evolves through time. Roche has also helpfully aligned to WHO standards in displaying their count, which means that you can compare results across from your Roche test with a similar test from another manufacturer such as Siemens.
What does IgM mean?
By detecting IgG and IgM, our Home Total Antibody test can tell you if you have previously been exposed to COVID-19 and if your body has created a defence in relation to natural infection.
Which test should I buy?
This is up to you and depends on your needs. If you have received a vaccination and want to understand your immunity response, the COVID-19 Immunity Tracker is the right test for you.
If you want to understand if you have previously been exposed to COVID-19, our Home Total Antibody test will provide a positive / negative result.
If you would like a further understanding of the immunity defence your body has created, our COVID-19 Immunity Tracker provides a quantitative result that you can use to compare to other tests and research. It can also be very useful to track your levels of protective antibodies over time. In turn and in the context of the vaccination campaign, this information can help inform when a booster jab might be needed.
Which test is more accurate?
Both tests are highly accurate and over 98% positive for sensitivity and 99% for specificity.
If you have any further questions, you can reach out to our support team here.