What is an Antibody Test for COVID?
It is a screening test that checks for the presence of antibodies against the Coronavirus. Antibodies are produced by the body when it detects a foreign antigen (usually the viral coat protein) in the system. Antibodies are produced by the immune system if a person is infected with the virus or when an individual gets vaccinated. It isn’t necessary to check the presence of the virus instead it determines the body’s efficiency in fighting the virus. It might also be called a ‘serology test’.
How Does the Antibody Test for COVID Works?
Your blood sample is collected by a technician through a finger-prick. The test then proceeds with the detection of both IgM and IgG antibodies against the Coronavirus. IgM antibodies are produced within the initial days of infection and IgG antibodies are produced after 14 days from the first appearance of symptoms.
What is the Difference Between an Antigen and an Antibody Test for COVID?
The antigen test is a rapid diagnostic test that detects the presence of the virus in an immediate setting. It doesn’t require the laboratory setup for confirming the presence of COVID in an individual. However, an antibody test is essential to confirm whether the person was exposed to the virus in the past and is now immune to it or could still be contagious.
Why do We Need an Antibody Test for COVID?
Not everybody develops symptoms for COVID; hence, it is important to confirm the presence of the virus through antibody testing. This test also helps researchers understand the immunity of a population on a larger scale. It also helps in identifying people who have come in contact with the virus and developed immunity against it.