What is Covid Antibody Test?
Antibody test, also known as serology tests, is performed to look for existing antibodies in your blood to determine if you ever had an infection at any point of time in the past with the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. Similarly, when you get vaccinated for flu-shot, your body becomes immune to that disease. That’s exactly how your body builds immunity to any virus.
- Antibodies are merely certain kinds of proteins that are created by your body’s natural immune system soon after you have been infected or vaccinated.
- Antibodies help your body stand against infections and can protect you from getting the same disease again. However, the lasting of this protection may vary from person to person.
- The antibody test is not really for checking for the virus itself. Actually, it is performed to see whether the natural immune or defense system of your body has responded to the infection or not.
As per information fetched, no Antibody tests should be used for diagnosing a current infection with the virus causing COVID-19, except in instances in which viral testing may get delayed. An antibody test may fail to determine the current existence of any infection as a human body takes approximately 1-3 weeks to generate antibodies after getting infected.
Who should do Covid Antibody test and Why?
1. Recovered from COVID-19, but still not sure if you've antibodies?
2. Has the vaccine started working on you?
3. COVID-19 is here to stay, know if YOU are ready to fight it.
4. Know how long your immunity might last! Don't Assume, Be Sure.
5. Planning to resume your routine life out? Check your immunity before you step out.
How Does an Antibody Test Work?
A medical expert will take a little amount of your blood, like the amount that can be taken through a finger prick. The test looks for one or both kinds of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The two types of antibodies are,
IgM antibodies: It gets generated within the earliest possible time an infection. They can usually take 3-7 days to form after initial exposure.
IgG antibodies: These antibodies generally show up later. As a matter of fact, it may take upto 10-14 days to form soon after the initial stage of exposure. Besides, it may indicate the existence of a prior infection which can be resolved or is currently being resolved. In other words, it works as a marker of protective immunity.
Generally, people get IgG antibodies.They exists and keep flowing in your bloodstream even after the infection is gone. However, it may act differently for the newly discovered strain of coronavirus.
What do your results mean?
If you test positive
If the test result is positive then it indicates that your body may have antibodies from any infection with the virus, which causes COVID-19.In some specific cases, it also indicates that you may had the same type of disease but caused by any other kinds of virus from the same family (called coronaviruses). A major factor to note, Other types of coronaviruses cannot produce any positive result on a viral test for SARS-CoV-2.
Having antibodies present in the blood provides protection against any covid-causing virus. However, experts are still not sure about the fact that how strong the protection is or how long it may last.
If you get a positive result in spite of having no symptoms of the disease, then you were probably asymptomatic. This can happen if you had an infection without symptoms, which is called an asymptomatic infection.
If you test negative
If the test result is negative, then you probably never had Covid-19. It is always recommended with your healthcare service provider about your test results in detail to know which points you have missed. There remains chances for you to have an existing infection or to be recently infected.
Generally it takes approximately 1–3 weeks soon after infection for a human body to prepare antibodies. So there remains a chance that you could still get sick if you have been exposed to the virus recently. In other words, you could still be a carrier of the virus and can spread the virus. As per the doctors, many people may take longer than usual to develop antibodies, on the other hand, some infected people may not ever develop any antibodies.
What’s the Difference Between a Coronavirus Test and an Antibody Test?
The coronavirus test, also known as diagnostic test, is performed to determine the signs of active virus. In other words, it only tells you if you are having the deadly virus in your body at the moment when you are being tested.
An antibody test confirms if you ever had the virus in your body at any point of time in the past. It is mainly run to determine the presence of antibodies in you.