Published May 11, 2021 by Ichor Blood Services

With all the talk about COVID-19 testing and vaccination rollouts in the news, it is not surprising that there is confusion about the different tests you can get and how effective they are. 

Antibody testing determines whether you have had COVID-19. It is a great tool for knowing who has been exposed and estimating how many people have been exposed. Antibody testing is also one of the few methods to help keep track of COVID-19 carriers who do not experience any symptoms at all.

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Who Should Get Tested?

If you have been previously diagnosed or suspect that you may currently have the coronavirus, it is recommended you wait at least 14 days after your symptoms first started or after testing positive for the virus to get an antibody test. The timing of the test will affect your results. If you get an antibody test too early while you still have the virus, your body will not have had enough time to build up an immune response and produce enough antibodies to be detected in the test. 

The test may be right for you if:

  • You have previously tested positive for COVID-19 and want to know if you have detectable antibodies.
  • You have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 but wish to know if you have previously been exposed to the virus

If you have antibodies present in your bloodstream, you are eligible to donate your plasma to help patients still suffering from the virus. You’re essentially allowing the recipient to “borrow” your antibodies to speed up their recovery. 

 

How The Test Works

COVID-19 testing, also known as serology testing, is a blood test that determines if you have had a past infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the COVID-19 disease.

The test is similar to other blood tests you may have had before: a blood sample is taken from the patient using a needle and is then analyzed in a lab to determine the presence of antibodies. The latter are proteins produced by your immune system in response to an infection. Your immune system will detect foreign substances and begin producing specific antibodies to fight off the infection. Your antibodies can be found in your bloodstream for several months or longer after recovering from COVID-19.
There is still not enough research and evidence to determine how long these antibodies remain in a person’s immune system. This is why it is still important to follow health guidelines as you could still be at risk of catching the virus or one of its variants again. 

 

Antibody Testing Can Help Reduce The Spread Of COVID-19

No COVID diagnostic test is 100% accurate. It is still possible to test negative and still be infected or to test positive and not be infected. 
Antibody testing can help confirm who and who has not been infected with the virus, allowing for governments to statistically keep track of accurate positive case numbers as well as determining who is qualified to donate plasma to others suffering from COVID-19. Research is still being conducted to determine who may have immunity, to what extent their immunity is, and how long it will last.


Antibody Test Results

COVID-19 antibody test results can be:

Negative
A negative result means that you have no COVID-19 antibodies. You most likely were never infected in the past or received a false-positive result from a coronavirus diagnostic test in the past. Or, your body has not yet developed the antibodies and requires more time to show up on the test results.

Positive
A positive test means that you have COVID-19 antibodies in your blood. This indicates that you have had a past infection in the past—even if you never had any symptoms. A false-positive test result can occur, however. The test could detect antibodies closely related to a coronavirus (but not COVID-19), or the test may have been flawed.

 

Book Your COVID-19 Antibody Test Today!

It is important to remember that a COVID-19 antibody test does not detect if you currently have the virus. It can only detect antibodies in your bloodstream, which indicates if you have had the virus in the past and have gained immunity to it.  
There is still extensive research needed to be done to determine if having COVID-19 antibodies in your bloodstream will make you immune to the virus. Continue to follow health guidelines to reduce your risk of contracting the virus or one of its variants again. 
If you would like more information about COVID-19 antibody testing or want to know if you have been infected in the past with COVID-19, contact Ichor Blood Services by calling 1-844-424-6728 to book your antibody test.

 

FAQs

Q: How long does the test take and how long does it take to get my results?
A: The test itself should take no longer than 15 minutes, and results can be produced the same day. 

Q: If I test positive, does that mean I am immune to the coronavirus?
A: There are still many studies that are trying to understand the antibody response following infection. 
Most studies show that most people who have been infected with COVID-19 develop antibodies specific to the virus. These levels of antibodies can differ from each person, with some having higher levels and some having a more limited amount. Until further research is conducted, there is no way to know for certain if a person is 100% immune to COVID-19.

Q: Do I have to be symptomatic to have the COVID-19 antibodies?
A: No, you do not have to have symptoms in order to test positive for COVID-19 antibodies. Therefore, just because you never had any symptoms in the past does not mean you never had the virus. Because you could have been an asymptomatic carrier, you can still end with COVID-19 antibodies without knowing it. 

Contact Us for Physician Requisitioned General Blood Work, or Corporate Group Testing for the COVID-19 Antibody or COVID-19 Active PCR Test, or for Travel Testing Test Collection Services for the COVID-19 Antibody or Active PCR Test.

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