T-cell Immunity Testing
The T-Spot®.COVID-19 Test – Previous Infection Status
T cell test available now: First test to identify T Lymphocyte immune response to Covid-19.
Integrative Health Clinic in Gloucestershire
We are one of the first private clinics to offer T Lymphocyte (T cell) testing to determine previously undetected lymphocyte immune responses to Covid-19 infection or vaccination. The T-SPOT®.COVID Test looks for evidence of the immune response to Covid-19. The aim is to answer the question: have I been exposed to Covid-19 and produced an immune response?
The T cell test is CE marked and registered for use in the UK.
COVID-19 Tests Explained
Why PCR Testing?
This is the ‘Do I have COVID-19?’ test. The aim of the PCR test is to understand who has virus present in their upper respiratory tract. It looks for the presence of viral RNA in nasal/throat swabs.
As with all viral PCR assays, patients with very low viral loads are less likely to be detected. Negative results do not mean there is no possibility of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Where there is a strong clinical suspicion of an early SARS-CoV-2 infection you should consider repeat sampling 24-48 hours later.
Why Serology Testing?
This is the ‘Have I had COVID-19?’ test. The aim of serology testing is to understand more about who may have come into contact with the virus. The serology test measures for the presence of IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. False negatives can occur in the Antibody test due to a low level of antibodies over time, clearance of the virus without an antibody response or because of recent infection without allowing time for the IgG antibody response to build to detectable levels.
Most patients have been found to produce antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 once they have recovered from coronavirus infection. However, whether the presence of IgG following infection can infer protection (either fully or partially) from future infection is yet to be determined.
Why T-Spot.COVID Testing?
This is the “Have I had COVID-19, but sometime ago, and/or I had a negative serology test’ The aim of the T-SPOT.COVID test is a simple blood test intended for use as an aid in identifying individuals with an adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2, specifically the T cell response. The test uses the T-SPOT Technology, a modified ELISPOT technology, with an optimised antigen mix, based on SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins, spike and nucleocapsid (S and N), and allows the maximum breadth of the immune response to be measured.
Proven to detect evidence of a T cell-mediated immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection in PCR positive patients with a previous negative serology test result, or if you feel that you may have been exposed to Covid-19 some time ago.
Lasting immunity found after recovery from COVID-19
'After people recover from infection with a virus, the immune system retains a memory of it. Immune cells and proteins that circulate in the body can recognise and kill the pathogen if it’s encountered again, protecting against disease and reducing illness severity.
This long-term immune protection involves several components. Antibodies - proteins that circulate in the blood - recognise foreign substances like viruses and neutralise them. Different types of T cells help recognise and kill pathogens. B cells make new antibodies when the body needs them.' US Department of Health & Human Services
Public Health England Study
A prospective cohort study performed by Public Health England used the T-SPOT research use only platform to provide detailed information on SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this study 2,826 individuals identified as keyworkers were tested for anti-spike IgG and SARS-CoV-2 responsive T cells.
T cell responses could be detected in individuals who had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 using PCR, but were seronegative.
T cells may play a role in protection against re-infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, even in the absence of detectible antibody.