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What You Need to Know About Antibody Testing

by Bobby

An antibody test is screening doctors use to check for specific antibodies in your blood. Your body makes antibodies when it is fighting infections such as COVID-19. When you get a vaccine such as a flu shot, your body produces antibodies, which is how you build immunity to a virus. Antibody testing Otsego primarily checks whether your immune system has responded to infection. This test does not check for a virus in your blood.

Antibody testing procedure

Your doctor will take a sample of your blood by pricking your finger. The antibody test detects both types of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-12  is the virus that causes COVID-19. The two forms of antibodies include IgM, which occurs early during an infection, and IgG, which show up later. Mostly, people get IgG antibodies fourteen days after symptoms begin. These antibodies stay in your blood for a prolonged period after your infection goes away, but doctors have not discovered the time in the new coronavirus.

The difference between a coronavirus test and antibody testing

A coronavirus test shows signs of active virus. Compared to antibody testing, it is simpler and faster. It only detects if you have the virus in your body when your doctor takes the test. Antibody testing informs that you had the virus sometime in the past. The virus could have disappeared or is still present and contagious.

Benefits of having antibody testing

Sometimes you can get SARS-CoV-2 and not know. Not every time you have the virus do you show symptoms. Antibody testing helps medical professionals to understand how common the COVID-19 virus is. After detecting the people infected with the virus, the medical experts know how it affects each individual. The antibody test can also help scientists understand individuals immune to the virus.

Additionally, antibody testing can help with experimental treatment for COVID-19, known as convalescent plasma. The liquid part of your blood is called plasma. Researchers are studying how the antibodies in the plasma you donate after recovering from COVID-19 can help people with the virus. Research has shown that this plasma can help sick individuals heal faster. Health professionals hope that if you have antibodies to COVID-19, you can return to work and resume everyday life quicker.

Are you a candidate for antibody testing?

You qualify for an antibody test if you have come into contact with the COVID-19 virus or tested positive for the virus and have entirely recovered.

What do your antibody test results mean?

You are expected to show antibodies if you have received a COVID-19 vaccine. If you have not had the vaccine and you test positive for SARS-CoV-12 antibodies, it means you have had the virus before. A positive result can mean you have some immunity to the coronavirus. On the other hand, a negative outcome means you have not come into contact with the COVID-19 virus, or it has not been in your body for a sufficient time to make antibodies.

Nevertheless, no matter your results, you do not require follow-up if you are not experiencing any symptoms. Antibody testing can help define your immune system. Schedule an appointment at GatherWell for antibody testing to check for specific antibodies.

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