Covid Anti Body Test: All You Need to Know
Antibody tests are screening for things known as antibodies in the blood. Your body makes antibodies when it fights against infections such as COVD-19. The same phenomenon happens when you get a vaccine to build your immunity against the virus.
Antibody tests are also known as serology tests. These antibody tests are not for checking the virus itself. Instead, we come to know whether our immune systems are strong against illnesses or not through antibody tests.
SARS-CoV-2, a virus that emerged from China in 2019, causes COVID-19. Covid antibody test detects antibodies to coronavirus. This test can help identify people who may have been infected with this virus or have recovered from COVID-19. You will not use this test if you have an active COVID-19 infection.
Scientists are continuously working on a coronavirus antibody test. However, at this time, this will not tell if your:
COVID-19 vaccine worked
You need a vaccine for COVID-19
You have a strong immune system that will prevent COVID-19
You currently have COVID-19
Are Covid Antibody Tests Used to Diagnose COVID-19?
The simple answer is no. Antibody tests can’t be used to diagnose current COVOD-19 because antibody tests do not detect SARS-CoV-2. Only coronavirus diagnostic tests are effective to diagnose current COVID-19.
Antibody tests do not show results if you have prior COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 infection because antibodies are part of your body’s response to infection. It can take days or even weeks after the infection for the body to make noticeable antibodies.
What is the Difference Between COVID-19 Test and an Antibody Test?
A Covid-19 test, also known as a diagnostic test, looks for signs of the virus. It is faster and simpler than antibody tests. It will only tell you if you have the virus in the body at the current moment. While antibody tests show that you had the virus in the past. This virus could be gone or you could be contagious.
Will Positive Results on Antibody Tests Mean I have Immunity and I will not Experience COVID-19?
No, at this time, antibody tests do not tell if someone has immunity that will prevent him/her from getting coronavirus. More research is essential to understand what coronavirus antibody tests can tell us, and antibodies detected in the blood reflect only one part of the immune system, which includes T-cells that are part of the body’s immune response.
Can I Get a Covid Antibody Test to decide if I Need a COVID-19 Vaccine?
No, antibody tests results should not be effective to decide if you need a vaccine or vaccine booster or to check whether your vaccine worked. There is no clear connection between a covid antibody test and a booster or vaccine. In addition, some antibody tests may not detect a kind of antibodies created by the following vaccination.
Moreover, more studies are needed to be conducted to understand the role of an antibody test in evaluating a person’s immunity or protection against COVID-19.
Can a Covid Antibody Test Tell Me If I Can Infect Other People?
No, an antibody test does not tell whether you can infect other people with SARS-Cov-2 or not? Current information shows that people with coronavirus can infect other people and even if they are COVID-19 vaccinated or have detectable antibodies from a previous infection.
What Does It Mean If I Have a Positive Antibody Test?
A positive antibody test means you previously had COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 infection. A positive result also means that the test is detecting antibodies in the blood as a response to your COVID-19 vaccine. Not all antibody tests will detect antibodies response to a coronavirus vaccine.
What Does It Mean If I Have a Negative Antibody Test?
A negative result on a coronavirus antibody test means antibodies to the viruses were not detected in the blood. It is not known if all people with coronavirus will develop antibodies in their bodies in some amount that can be detected by a covid antibody test.
In addition, if people develop antibodies, the levels of antibodies may decrease over time that can’t be detected by a covid antibody test. It is necessary to note down that different antibody tests detect different antibodies and different antibody levels.
Negative results could mean:
You were not infected by COVID-19 previously
You may have SARS-CoV-2 infection but:
Your body didn’t make antibodies
Your body made antibodies but the level of antibodies is too low
You were vaccinated
The test results may be faulty, also known as “false negative”
What if There are Different Results on Two Covid Antibody Tests?
Results can be different due to the following reasons:
Different antibody tests detect different antibodies and different antibodies levels
The sensitivity and specificity of each test can be different
The time when you took the tests
A covid antibody test is different from the COVID-19 diagnostic test. An antibody test detects the levels of antibodies in the body, and a diagnostic test detects the presence of SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, do not get a covid antibody test for diagnosing COVID-19.