Recently, there have been many tests around. First, there was COVID-19 testing, which is critical in checking if you have the virus. Then came the antibody testing that most people are gradually getting to know.
We’ve made it our mission to apprise you with this test, so you understand what it is and who needs it. You will not get confused about the two tests at the end of this article. Let’s get on it:
What Is Antibody Testing?
While many people already understand that the COVID-19 test helps find if you have the virus caused by COVID, they may not fully understand the coronavirus antibodies. What are these? Antibodies are proteins that help fight and clear the virus, and it’s your immune system that produces them.
This test helps the people who may have had the SARS-CoV-2 unknowingly. It can show if a person has had COVID-19 in the past. Then it also tells if an individual has developed antibodies in the blood against the virus.
These antibodies may protect the person from getting the coronavirus or becoming severely ill after healing. It can be for a limited time as antibodies wane over time.
Generally, it’s best to take this test after a patient has recovered from the COVID-19 virus after 14 days. It usually takes at least two weeks after a person has had the virus for the body to develop antibodies. If a person hasn’t fully healed from the virus, it may not be effective. So, it’s crucial to wait until there is no more SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The Procedure Of Antibody Testing
Like any other test, a serology test involves drawing blood from a patient’s vein, which health care takes by pricking a finger. Then the physician will take the blood sample to the lab to test if the patient has developed antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2-the virus that causes COVID-19. And this result will provide a numerical value indicating whether or not a person has antibodies to COVID-19.
Who Needs An Antibody Test?
Individuals who may suspect they might have had COVID-19 in the past despite having no symptoms can get this antibody testing. But you have to go to your healthcare provider for this test.
A semi-quantitative antibody test helps identify people who have developed an immune response after COVID-19 exposure or vaccination. However, individuals should not use it to determine the level of immunity in the body.
Nevertheless, ongoing research will help determine if antibodies provide protective immunity against coronavirus antibodies.
The antibody test is not ideal for individuals:
- Who would like to check if he currently has the COVID-19 virus?
- Someone is unwell or has had a fever in the last 24 hours.
- Who got exposed to COVID-19 less than ten days ago.
- Having a weak immune system due to a particular medical condition.
Any Limitations For Coronavirus Antibody Testing?
If a person gets this test too soon before the immune system generates the antibodies, it may lead to negative results. So, it’s best to wait for two weeks after the virus exposure or your vaccination against the virus. At least by this time, the body has made enough antibodies.
Some individuals with a weakened immune system resulting from a medical condition or medications may have developed the antibodies. But this may not be detectable after the exposure or vaccination. So, it may show false antibodies while the test detects other viruses such as that caused by the common cold.
When you’re in doubt about your test results, you can raise your concerns to your health care provider, who can evaluate you.
That’s everything to do with serology tests and coronavirus antibodies. Have you done your COVID-19 test yet? If you were positive and healed, did you get the antibody test? Since you understand all these terms, you know what to expect, when, and why you need the test. Also, you can follow up with your healthcare provider if you need additional guidance on how to interpret your serology test results.