Antibody tests for COVID-19 have got to be the most misunderstood type of coronavirus test. Here’s everything you need to know if you think that you may have been infected in the past—antibody tests help you get to the bottom of the matter.
What is an antibody COVID test?
A COVID antibody test, also known as serology tests or a COVID test for past infection, is not a diagnostic COVID test. Instead, it’s used to detect the presence of COVID-19 antibodies still hanging around in your system after a previous COVID-19 infection.
Antibody tests, unfortunately, cannot be self-administered at home. In most cases, you’ll either need to employ the service of your local LabCorp or somewhere similar, or simply have your specimen taken at your physician’s office.
Generally, it takes upwards of two weeks after exposure to SARS-CoV-2 to develop detectable antibody levels in the body. Timing is key, and your doctor or a member of our team can help you figure it all out.
How do antibody tests work?
After having a blood sample drawn, lab specialists test the specimen for the presence of antibodies left over from a previous case of COVID-19.
Negative antibody tests mean that you’re still susceptible to the virus. A positive result indicates that it’s likely that you have contracted the virus in the past. False positives are possible, but not especially common. In some cases, you may be advised to take a second, confirmatory test for the most accurate result possible.
An antibody test isn’t able to show how long ago you got sick, or even whether or not a future infection is likely or possible. In fact, antibody tests can’t be used at all to determine whether or not you’re currently infected, infectious, or otherwise carrying the coronavirus.
Luckily, we have rapid result COVID tests to clear the air in that regard. COVID antibody tests remain a valuable contact-tracing resource and a source of closure for millions around the world.
Get tested today: antibody testing near you
Covid Clinic is equipped to administer COVID tests of every type, including COVID-19 antibody tests. Get in touch with us today for more information or to book an appointment at a testing location near you.