What to Expect From Coronavirus Antibody Testing

COVID-19 remains a major concern, not just across southern Arizona. But worldwide. However, now that restrictions are gradually being lifted and businesses are beginning to open back up across the country, many people find themselves wondering whether they may have already been exposed to the virus. This is where antibody testing can be useful.

At Southern Arizona Urgent Care (SAUC), we’re happy to offer coronavirus antibody testing as one of our many medical services. Before you schedule your appointment, take some time to understand what antibody testing is and how it works.

Reasons to Have Coronavirus Antibody Testing Done

Novel coronavirus detection: pcr kit for rna of SARS-COV-2 novel coronavirus and rapid kit to detect antibodies for the virus in blood of recovered patients with COVID-19. Epidemiologist in test lab.

Specifically, this type of blood test checks for antibodies that your body may have produced if it has already been exposed to coronavirus in the past. Antibody testing is important because the World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that up to 80% of people who contract COVID-19 are asymptomatic. Antibody testing could help scientists more accurately calculate global infection rates.

And of course, if a person tests positive for COVID-19 antibodies, this can be useful for scientists who are currently studying what may happen with repeat exposure. Preliminary research has also suggested that donated plasma from a person who has recovered from the coronavirus could be useful in treating sick people.

What to Expect From an Antibody Test

Covid-19 rapid test and vaccine in coronavirus crisis with researchers in the laboratory

The process of testing for COVID-19 antibodies is relatively simple. Typically, all that is needed for the test is a small blood sample, such as one collected through a finger prick. From there, the blood sample is checked for both IgM and IgG antibodies. IgM antibodies are most likely to show up earlier, whereas IgG antibodies may take 7-10 days to be detectable.

One important thing to keep in mind about antibody testing is that it’s not 100% foolproof. If you’ve come into contact with another type of coronavirus, you might have antibodies but still, be susceptible to COVID-19. Meanwhile, testing negative for antibodies doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve never come into contact with COVID-19. That’s because some people who contract the virus don’t produce antibodies.

Finally, even if you test positive for coronavirus antibodies, this should not lead to an assumption that you’re immune to catching COVID-19 again. Further studies need to be conducted to determine whether or not this is the case, as it is too early to make these kinds of assumptions.

Schedule Coronavirus Antibody Testing Today

If you think you might have previously had coronavirus or were in contact with somebody who tested positive, you might want to schedule an antibody test. Likewise, if you previously tested positive for COVID-19 yourself, an antibody test can help you determine whether or not your body has produced antibodies to the virus.

SAUC is here to help with your antibody testing needs. Please contact us to request an appointment. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have as well!