How to read your own result
When your test is completed after 20 minutes, two lines can appear on the paper strip. The upper line (the Control Line) and the lower line (the Test Line).
One line is a negative result and two lines is a positive result. You should use the tray in your test kit to help you read your result.
The strength of your test line can vary and directly correlates to the number of protective antibodies in your blood sample. Think of a line strength from 1 to 10, with level 1 being very faint. Even a level 1, very faint line means you have 50% protection from developing serious symptoms if you are infected with COVID-19
You should not read your result after 1 hour, as sometimes the blood that is in your solution that runs through the test strip can get caught and become visible on your test as the test strip dries.
What else do I need to know?
If your control line (negative line) does not appear, your test has not worked. Sometimes people do not push the test down far enough into the buffer pot. If you have just performed your test and it has not started to run, please push it down again firmly.
If you do not get any lines, this is known as an “invalid” result and your test has not worked. Please discard your test and retest with a new device. You can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp (+44) 7763 489170.
Also a few people notice there is a small red smudge at the bottom of their test strip. This is nothing to worry about and is where your sample has migrated above the pad at the bottom of your test. It does not look like a line.
If the control line appears, you know that your test has run correctly.
My test result is negative...
If there is only one red line on your test, your test result is negative and protective IgG antibodies have not been detected.
This means it is very likely you have NOT had COVID-19 or that you had infection more than 6 months ago.
You could also be testing too soon after your vaccination, or have not had an immune response to the vaccine.
Many people do not have an immune response after only one vaccination and the vaccines currently approved in the UK require two doses to achieve full vaccination.
Anecdotally, in all of the people we have tested, we have seen lower immune responses in double vaccinated people who have not had natural infection, compared to those who have had natural infection.
Historically, vaccines have worked by stimulating a B and T cell memory, however there is not enough evidence as yet to understand fully if this is the case with the current COVID vaccines.
This is why knowing your current antibody status is so important.
My test result is positive...
If two red lines are visible, your test result is positive. This means it is very likely you have had COVID-19 and/or had an immune response to vaccination and protective IgG antibodies have been detected.
We are still learning about how many antibodies are needed to provide immunity. A positive test result does not guarantee that you have developed full immunity to COVID-19. It is possible to get the virus again, or spread it, although your risk is reduced if you have protective antibodies. If you do contract the virus your symptoms should be less severe.
It's important to keep following the COVID-19 advice.