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Qured offers two tests for Covid-19: a rapid PCR RNA test and an IgG antibody test. Broadly speaking, the difference between the two tests can be understood as: 'Do I have it?' (PCR) and ‘Have I shown a detectable IgG antibody response?' (Antibody). Qured’s PCR test can identify Covid-19 in those who suspect they currently have the virus, from the earliest pre-symptomatic stages of the infection. Qured’s Covid-19 antibody test can identify those who develop an immune response to the virus. For more information, please see our dedicated PCR and Antibody test pages.
The PCR test detects whether you have the virus on board. This is typically from the day of exposure till the day the virus has been shed from your system (usually up to 14 days but can be shorter or longer in some cases). It should be undertaken when someone suspects they have Covid-19, or if they believe they have been recently exposed to it. The test can detect Covid-19 even if the individual is asymptomatic. The antibody test determines a person's immune response to Covid-19. IgM and IgA antibodies typically appear first in a patient's blood when the body is fighting. IgG appears later and usually remains present in the blood once the body has mounted it’s response. Therefore the laboratory recommends antibody testing from 14 days after the onset of symptoms or a positive PCR test. If a person tests positive for any of the antibodies, this means they have likely had Covid-19.
If our PCR test is positive for Covid-19 and you recover, or if our antibody test is positive for antibodies, the test results each indicate that you have been exposed to the virus and developed antibodies against it. There is still a great deal about Covid-19 immunity that we do not yet fully understand. For example, we do not yet know that just because someone has initially made IgA or IgGM or later developed IgG antibodies to Covid 19, that they are fully protected from reinfection, or how long they will last in the blood.
If your antibody test is positive it means you have had Covid-19 exposure sufficiently to make an antibody response to the virus. There is currently no scientific evidence confirming if the presence of antibodies correlates to immunity or how long the antibodies will last for.
If your antibody test is negative, it means you have not been exposed sufficiently to make an antibody response or there has not been sufficient time for the body to make an antibody response. There is also a possibility that your body made an antibody response which has not been sustained and is therefore not detectable when it was tested for. Some patients with other underlying health conditions specifically related to their immune system may also not be able to mount a detectable or sustainable immune response and therefore may test negative. Please note that some people may not develop IgG antibodies even after proven infection with Covid-19 and will therefore test negative.
We are an established on-demand doctor service that is regulated by the Care Quality Commission. We have worked hard to source the most reliable tests currently available. Our antibody test is administered by a competent healthcare professional, so you can be sure your blood sample is taken correctly. Our PCR test includes a follow-up consultation with a GP if your results are positive.
The performance of these tests is described by their “sensitivity,” or their ability to identify those with infection with or antibodies to Covid-19 (true positive rate), and their “specificity,” or their ability to identify those without infection with or antibodies to Covid-19 (true negative rate).
The PCR test diagnoses infection with Covid-19 by identifying the presence of the RNA virus using reverse-transcriptase PCR. The assays used at our partner laboratory show a minimum sensitivity of 98% and a specificity of 100%, with no cross-reactivity with other viruses.
The antibody tests currently used by our laboratory are the Abbott test if you opt for venous blood collection by a healthcare professional, or the Siemens test if you opt to collect your blood sample yourself. For these tests, our laboratory partners report a sensitivity of at least 97.5% and a specificity of at least 99.8%.
Each test is CE marked and authorised for use in UKAS accredited laboratories.
It is important to distinguish between different types of antibody tests. Several rapid tests currently being marketed by private practitioners are rapid lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) devices which provide a quick, point-of-care approach to antibody testing. We are not using these tests, our detects IgG antibodies only and conducted by a UKAS accredited lab. A recent study by the National COVID Scientific Advisory Panel concluded that the performance of current LFIA devices is inadequate for most individual patient applications, however lab-based tests can be calibrated to be specific for detecting and quantifying Covid-19 IgM and IgG antibodies, and are highly sensitive for IgG.
The PCR and antibody tests used by our lab have each received a CE mark showing they comply with EU safety rules and can be used in UKAS accredited labs in the UK. All of our tests are conducted in UKAS accredited labs. The antibody tests currently used by our laboratory are the Abbott IgG test or the Siemens Total Antibody test. The Abbott test has been evaluated and endorsed by Public Health England (PHE), and the Siemens test is currently being validated by PHE. These tests are currently validated for venous blood draw only, which is why our service includes an at-home blood draw from a healthcare professional. Home self collection of blood using a finger prick kit for antibody testing has been temporarily paused pending evaluation by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The PCR and antibody tests used by our lab have each received Emergency Use Approval by the US FDA.
Our laboratory partners normally process and return results within 48 hours from receiving the test at the laboratory. However, from time to time the laboratories may have to prioritise NHS demand. Qured will inform you of your results via the email provided as soon as we receive them, or any delays. Our results are sent from our encrypted Protonmail server, so please check your spam folder before contacting our Support team for results.
For the antibody test a healthcare professional to visit your home and collect a venous blood sample, and they will take care of delivering the sample to the lab. For PCR tests, tests are sent using the Royal Mail Special Delivery Next Day Tracked service. If you book a test before 3pm, it will be dispatched to you on the same day for arrival the next working day. All test packages include a pre-stamped envelope to be posted back to our laboratory partners. However, we strongly recommend that you return the test to the laboratory using the Royal Mail Special Delivery Next Day Tracked service, in order to guarantee timely receipt by the lab. Ideally the lab should receive the sample within 24 hours, please keep the sample in your refrigerator during any time delay before posting or collection, and post the sample on the same day. Qured will not be responsible for any delays due to the postal service, or lost tests. If you are self-isolating, please enlist the help of a friend or neighbour to post the test for you.
For PCR tests only, we also offer a priority courier service. If you book before 6pm, the test is delivered to your home or business and collected on the following day, then returned to the laboratory by a courier service. Our courier service is available within M25, and costs an additional £29. You need to select this option when placing the order online.
The courier will deliver and collect between 9:00-19:00. You will be emailed when the test is out for delivery so that you can track it. Once the test is dropped off, the courier will return to collect the test 1-3 hours later. The courier will ring the buzzer/knock when the test is delivered and step away in line with social distancing guidelines. If there is no answer, they will call you on the number provided, so please keep your phone handy and audible.
No. All the test kits are distributed from our fulfilment centre and sent directly to the patient’s home or place of business by courier or postal service.
Orders that are cancelled within 2 hours of placing and before the consultation has taken place will be fully refunded. We cannot refund orders after this.
**This information is for the PCR test only.**
Yes for five years and older. Minors above the age 16 can apply for the test themselves. For age 13 and above, parents can request the test but you will need consent if your child is under 16. For age 5-12 parents can request the test without consent. As for the sample collection required for the test, children age 12 and above may collect the samples themselves if confident to do so, and parents should collect samples for children age 5-12. Please note self-swabbing in children can be challenging and if an adequate sample is not attained, the results may be spurious or they may not be able to process the sample in the lab. Please make sure you and your child (if above 12) have watched the video and read the instructions together. Please assist your child (above 12) at every opportunity to collect the sample.
If you require a PCR test for travel, please ensure you have checked with the airline the timeframe for when the test needs to be done before the flight.
Once the airline has confirmed this, the test needs to be returned to the lab at the earliest date that can be stated on the results. The results come back in PDF format, and results take 48. Results will be sent via email.
We can provide a certificate signed by our medical team for an additional £20 if required.
All of our doctors have at least three years experience as a GP, paediatrician or hospital doctor, so you can be sure that you are in the best possible hands.