What Is COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) Antibody Testing?
Antibodies are proteins that are used by our immune system to fight and clear infections from our body. There are several kinds of antibodies but the main ones we focus on in the setting of infections are IgM and IgG. IgM is one of the first responders when your body is fighting a new infection. IgG comes later on in the course of the infection. When you look for both of these types of antibodies together, rather than just one, it can improve our understanding of whether someone has had a recent infection or past exposure.
There are many antibody tests available but they are not all created equal. Testing for antibodies to COVID-19 might help identify people who could have been exposed or impacted by the virus (whether they knew it or not) and then later recovered. It is not entirely clear, at this point, if having an IgG antibody is an indicator of immunity to COVID-19 or re-infection as it is with many other infections; more research is needed.
Advantages of COVID-19 antibody testing with Precisione Clinic:
- Simple blood draw, which can be done from the comfort of your home
- Can be done with a quick 15-minute telemedicine consultation
- Affordable with quick turnaround time (2-3 days)
- We use a high quality test developed by a California based company, backed and validated by major universities and labs
- Can be the basis of helping to give direction on what next steps are best for you
How good is the COVID-19 antibody test offered by Precisione Clinic?
- Targets the N protein, S1 and S2 protein which are a part of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (some labs only test for one of these proteins)
- Offers both IgG and IgM testing
- Does not cross-react with many other types of antibodies
- Uses advanced chemiluminescence technology that can detect even small amounts of antibodies
- A human study of COVID-19 patients showed that the combined IgM and IgG test has a clinical sensitivity of 95.5% and clinical specificity of 96%.
- This testing has not been reviewed by the FDA.
- Negative results do not rule out SARS-CoV-2 infection, especially if you have been in contact with the virus. Follow-up diagnostic testing should be considered.
- Results from antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection or to inform infection status.
- Positive results may be due to past or present infection with non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strains, such as coronavirus HKU1, NL63, OC43, or 229E.
- This testing is not for the screening of donated blood
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