Antibody testings for COVID-19 are blood tests that can scan antibodies against the virus. Antibodies are unique proteins made by your body’s defence system to help you fight infections.
For instance, if your body is affected by any virus for the first time, it may produce antibodies for defending your body against the same infection when it tries to attack again. The same is the case with covid antibodies. They are proof that you were infected with the virus in the past.
In addition, your body can create antibodies when you get jabbed against a certain disease such as cowpox. This helps in making your immune system stronger.
How are Antibody Tests Different Than Coronavirus Tests?
The covid antibody test differs from diagnostic tests since it does not indicate if you are still infected. On the contrary, diagnostic testing is helpful for identifying active strains of the Covid-19 virus. In addition, they diagnose patients currently suffering from the virus even if they do not show any signs of the infection.
How is an Antibody Test done?
You can get your test only after completely recovering from the covid-19 infection. However, your eligibility will still depend upon a number of factors, such as the time period after your recovery.
In addition, these tests are also referred to as serology tests. The process usually revolves around drawing your blood for testing. For instance, your health care practitioner may collect a sample by pricking your finger or extracting it from your arm veins.
Once the sample is collected, it is sent to a laboratory for analysis, where experts examine it for covid-19 antibodies.
What Does it Mean if You are Positive?
If you are positive for the covid antibody test, this clearly represents that you had been infected previously. In addition, the antibodies can prove that you are slightly immune to the virus.
However, you are not completely safe from being infected again. But, it might help you fight the virus better if you are exposed to it in the future.
When Can You Take an Antibody Test?
You should be careful when getting the test since the timings really matter for the accuracy of the antibody test.
For example, if you take your covid antibody test soon after being diagnosed with the virus, you may likely not exhibit any antibodies since the antibodies can take a few weeks to develop completely. So, you should take the test at atleast two weeks from the day you notice symptoms.
How Can You Know If You are Infected?
Antibodies against covid-19 cannot be used to determine whether or not you have the virus. In contrast, you need to take a PCR or antigen test to know if you currently suffer from coronavirus.
Who Can Take the Antibody Test?
You are eligible for taking an antibody test if you:
- Tested covid-19 positive and are curious if you developed any significant antibodies during the course of recovery
Never tested positive for covid-19 and are eager to know if you ever came in contact with the virus