Health and Fitness

What you need to know about antibody test results?

The stubborn covid-19 disease is yet to cause people frightening with rising numbers of cases across the world. Alone in the United States, the cases have reached above 1 million, and people are in huge annoyance. However, the average of new cases is declined now and many people have recovered from the infection. Covid vaccination plays a pivotal role in preventing major risks of virus contamination in the US. But, still, people are curious to know whether their bodies have proper immunity to fight the virus or not. Those who have recovered from the disease also want to know whether their bodies have produced antibodies against the virus infection. But, it could only be found through antibody test results which are available at local healthcare clinics. Let us come to know about the antibody test.

What is an antibody test?

It is a vital test to measure the antibodies made by the body’s immune system when one is infected with the virus. Antibodies are mainly body proteins that have natural properties to fight against viruses and bacteria. You can take this test to know whether your body produced antibodies at the time of covid infection. It can trace whether you had a covid infection in the past without severe symptoms. If the antibodies have been produced by your body, then you might not have symptoms to be noticed at the time of infection. But, it is important to know that an antibody test is different from a diagnostic test. It cannot detect if you currently have coronavirus.

How is antibody test dissimilar from investigative covid screening?

There are different forms of covid diagnostic tests that can detect the signs of covid-19 infection. You can undergo an RT PCR test that will collect samples from your nasal using a cotton swab. This test is performed clinically to trace the infection and deliver reliable results. There is also an antigen test that is known as rapid testing as well. This is performed on the spot to detect whether you have a covid infection or not. However, the accuracy of this test is not greater than PCR, but it is a rapid solution to trace symptoms instantly.

Now, the antibody test is different from both these tests. It does not involve sample collection from the respiratory system of the body. But, this is performed by an expert lab technician by drawing blood from the vein. It is also known as a serology test which will check if the antibodies are present in your blood. This test actually does not tell about active virus infection. But, notify if your body has responded to the virus for fighting against it through the immune system. You could be a good candidate for this test if:

  • Have covid symptoms previously but not tested.
  • Undergoing a medical or surgical procedure.
  • Want to donate plasma to others suffering from a severe covid infection.
  • Results of antibody testing

Bear in mind that antibodies may be detected in your blood for several months or earlier than the covid infection. They might also form in your body once you get infected by the virus to fight against it. However, it is difficult to say how long antibodies remain in your immune system. It could also not be clear to what extent they have protected your body. However, antibody test results will only be cited with positive or negative.

The positive result states that you have antibodies at the time of infection that fights against the virus. It might be present in your body or might be produced after covid vaccination. The negative result states that there are no antibodies traced in your blood. It could also mean that you have not been infected with the disease previously. It also states that your body did not respond to the virus for fighting against it while you had an infection. After getting tested for the antibody test, you will be asked to collect the report after 24 hours.

The antibody test is capable of detecting two types of antibodies

Immunoglobulin M or IgM

This is the major antibody type that emerges when the body is exposed to the disease at the early stage. You can say that this antibody will occur during an earlier phase of covid infection. But, this antibody is less likely to form in the body.

Immunoglobulin G or IgG

It is the common type of antibody found in blood circulation. It is more likely to form anti-virus strength of body to fight the covid infection. Those who have recovered from the virus have been found to be protected with this antibody. This antibody mainly forms in blood after 14 days of virus infection. It can stay in the blood for a while but it is hard to say that it could fight against new covid infection.

Process of antibody testing

As mentioned earlier that this test is not related to the respiratory system. So, you would not get it done through a cotton swab. It will be performed by a medical expert by drawing your blood using a needle and syringe. The procedure will work by:

  • Wiping the skin with sanitizer to clean it
  • Tying an elastic bend to swell up the blood vein
  • Injecting the needle into the vein to extract the blood
  • The needle will be removed and blood will be placed in a tube
  • The blood can be extracted also by pricking the finger tip.

You can also get tested for antibody at home as you will be sent the kit. You can prick the fingertip to draw blood and send back the sample to the clinic.

To sum up

Antibody test results are a useful way to detect whether your body has enough antibodies to fight against the virus. But, it cannot be guaranteed that you are not likely to get a covid infection again. Therefore, it is highly important to have safety precautions. If you are interested in having an antibody test, you should consult with your healthcare provider. You can visit the Arleta urgent care and family clinic. Professionals can provide you with accurate test reports after 24 hours.

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