COVID Antibody Testing FAQs

Antibody Covid-19 Test in Mulund, Thane now available at Clinico Diagnostic Centre.

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Covid Test in Mulund

1. What is an antibody?

An antibody is a protein that develops in the body as a normal part of the immune response to many types of infections. Our bodies develop antibodies in the days and weeks after being infected. Antibodies are specific for different infections – as part of the immune response, the antibody attaches to specific parts of the pathogen. For example, there are antibodies for influenza and different antibodies for hepatitis C.

2. Why would a person want to have a COVID-19 antibody test performed?

This test offers a way for a person to know if they have had COVID-19 in the recent past.

3. What does the COVID-19 antibody test do?

As mentioned, antibodies are proteins that your body makes to fight an infection. The presence of antibodies indicates that the immune system has seen the virus and begun a reaction against it. These antibodies develop in most patients within one to three weeks after symptoms of COVID-19 begins and remains in the blood after the infection has passed. The COVID-19 antibody test detects the presence of these specific antibodies.

4. Can this test be used to diagnose COVID-19 infection?

NO. This test is not intended to be a diagnostic test. It is intended to identify if a person has contracted COVID-19 in the past.

5. Does this test correlate with the severity of the disease?
No. In fact, the result may indicate you were infected with the SARS-CoV2 virus even if you showed no symptoms whatsoever. A person who was hospitalized in critical condition and a person who had barely a slight cough could both show antibodies to this virus. It had nothing to do with the severity of the disease.

6. If I presently don’t have COVID-19 symptoms, should I get the test?

The COVID-19 antibody test is recommended to anyone who has previously tested positive for COVID-19, had a past history of COVID-19 like symptoms, or is asymptomatic but may have had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. However, we recommend waiting at least 14 days after symptom onset to obtain an antibody test. Apart from these, if you belong to the testing population defined by ICMR, you can get tested regardless of whether you have developed symptoms or not.

7. If I tested positive for COVID-19, why would I get the antibody test?

The antibody test will tell if your immune system has developed antibodies against COVID-19. Antibodies may produce immunity to viral infections. However, at this time, research has not shown that antibodies produce immunity to COVID-19 or how long they will persist in your body. Research is underway to gain more knowledge about this.

8. If I have a positive COVID-19 antibody test, am I protected against future infections?

A positive antibody test means that you have developed an immune response to the COVID-19 virus. We aren’t certain yet how much this immune response protects you from future infections.

9. Are there any other benefits to doing this test?

The people who can be tested for COVID-19 antibody tests include a large swath of the population. This is part of ICMR’s sero-surveillance. If a large enough number of people are tested, ICMR can then calculate what proportion of the population has contracted the disease in the past and therefore may have immunity against it. This test will also become very useful once a vaccine is developed as vaccines also induce an antibody response which can be confirmed by this test.
Another benefit of antibody testing is that people who’ve recovered from COVID-19 with detectable antibody levels may be eligible to donate plasma, a part of their blood. This plasma could be used to treat others with severe disease and boost the ability to fight the virus.

10. When can this test be done?

This test is best performed at least 2 weeks after the onset of symptoms. The timing and type of antibody test affect accuracy. If you have tested too early in the course of infection, when the immune response is still building up in your body, the test may not detect antibodies.