12 May Home Antibody Test For COVID-19
What Is An Antibody Test?
A COVID-19 antibody test is a blood test that determines if you previously had the SARS-CoV-2 virus whether or not you had symptoms. In-home testing is a safe and convenient way to get results, saving you time waiting in long lines at traditional testing centers.
First, let’s talk about what antibodies are. Antibodies are proteins produced by white blood cells in response to an illness. They defend against antigens such as harmful bacteria, viruses, and other substances by binding to the intruder and destroying it.
Every antibody defends against a specific type of antigen, meaning that an antibody for the flu won’t help you fend off the cold, and vice versa. This mechanism is what makes you less likely to catch the same illness twice, since your body recognizes the illness and has a defense against it.
How does an antibody test work?
An antibody test is also known as a serology test. This type of test is a blood test during which a nurse performs a blood draw.
Your antibody test looks for the following:
- IgM (Immunoglobulin M) antibodies: IgM antibodies are the first line of defense against any illness and develop earlier in an infection.
- IgG (Immunoglobulin G) antibodies: These antibodies typically show up later in an infection. Sometimes, they develop after you’ve recovered from your illness. These antibodies are responsible for remembering illnesses over time to help provide protection against the same illnesses in the future.
Are antibody tests accurate?
The accuracy of COVID-19 antibody tests vary from supplier to supplier, and safety is rated by their manufacturer. Concierge MD uses highly accurate antibody tests to help ensure accurate results.
What COVID-19 antibody test do you use?
You can learn more about the test we use here»
What is the difference between an antibody test & a COVID-19 test?
An antibody test and a COVID-19 are two different tests. An antibody test is a blood test that looks for signs of a previous infection of SARS-CoV-2. A nasal swab test looks for an active infection of COVID-19.
**Should I get both an Antibody Test & COVID-19 test done at the same time?
You can get a COVID-19 and an antibody test done at the same time to show if you currently or previously had an infection.
Can An Antibody Test Show An Active Infection?
COVID-19 antibody tests are not intended to detect an active infection of SARS-CoV-2. Antibody tests aim to detect the presence of antibodies that your body has produced to fight off a COVID-19 infection.
Your body produces antibodies in response to an illness, and it takes time for them to develop. Sometimes, your body produces antibodies after you have recovered from your illness. As a result, an antibody test can miss an infection if the virus is still incubating or if your body has not produced antibodies at the time of the test.
If your body has started producing antibodies when you are tested, it is possible for your antibody test to show an active infection.
If you think you may have COVID-19, you should seek a COVID-19 test instead of an antibody test for accurate results.
What kind of results can a COVID-19 antibody test show?
There are four potential outcomes of an antibody test:
- Both IgM and IgG are negative: The virus is still incubating or you have never had a COVID-19 infection.
- Both IgM and IgG are positive: Your body has an active COVID-19 infection and has started producing antibodies against it.
- IgG is positive, but IgM is negative: You have most likely recovered from a COVID-19 infection (whether or not you had symptoms).
- IgM is positive, but IgG is negative: You have an active COVID-19 infection in an early phase.
Why Do You Need Antibody Testing?
You may be wondering why you should get an antibody test if this test detects COVID-19 after you’ve already had it.
Antibody tests are helpful because…
- You can return to work safely knowing that you’ve already had COVID-19.
- You can prevent the virus from spreading to friends and family if you are an asymptomatic carrier.
- You can help health officials offer better public health guidance by helping them gather more data to develop a better idea of the extent and spread of COVID-19 by region.
- You can contribute to the public knowledge of this novel coronavirus strain by helping health officials understand how the immune response develops after a COVID-19 infection, as well as whether recovered individuals have immunity.
- You can donate convalescent plasma to help extremely sick patients with COVID-19 recover.
Who should get an antibody test?
You should get an antibody test if:
- You want to know if you previously had COVID-19 with or without symptoms.
- You were previously sick with COVID-19 and recovered
If you think you are currently sick with COVID-19, you should not get an antibody test. Instead, you should get a COVID-19 test for the most accurate results.
If I have antibodies to COVID-19, does that mean I won’t get sick again?
Possibly, but it’s currently unknown whether a SARS-CoV-2 infection will prevent you from getting sick with the same virus again.
How long does protection by antibodies last?
The duration of antibody protection against COVID-19 is currently unknown.
What Do Test Sensitivity And Specificity Mean?
Tests with high specificity and sensitivity refer to the accuracy of the test, minimizing your chances of receiving an incorrect test result.
- Test sensitivity is the proportion of diseased individuals correctly classified by a medical test
- Test specificity is the proportion of non-diseased individuals correctly classified by a medical test.
What are false positive and false negative results?
Although medical tests are designed to be as accurate as possible, results can sometimes be incorrect. This can lead to false positive and false negative results.
- False positive: The individual tests positive even though they are not actually sick. False positives can sometimes happen if a person is infected with a coronavirus strain other than COVID-19.
- False negative: The individual tests negative but is actually sick.
Tests with low sensitivity and/or low specificity are more likely to return false positives and false negatives. That’s why Concierge MD uses an antibody test with high specificity and sensitivity for results that are as accurate as possible.
Getting the correct result is important for not only your health, but the health of the people around you. For example, false positives can lead to additional testing, treatment, and costs. People whose tests return false negatives can unintentionally spread the virus.
How Can You Get An Antibody Test?
Antibody tests can be performed by certain laboratories, testing sites, healthcare providers, and some universities. Since every state has a different setup for their COVID-19 antibody testing, we recommend that you see your state’s guidance to find the nearest testing center near you.
At-Home COVID-19 Antibody Testing With Concierge MD
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of going to a clinic or waiting at a testing center to get an antibody test, Concierge MD offers in-home antibody tests for your convenience and peace of mind. We also offer a Nasal Swab for COVID-19 to detect if you are currently infected with the virus.
Our nurses come directly to you at your location of choice – usually your home – for your appointment. For your safety, our nurses wear medical-grade masks and gloves and follow social distancing best practices.
You can generally expect results from our antibody and nasal swab tests within 3 – 4 business days of your test.