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Health and Fitness

Guide on What Is Antibody Test and Its Role

The coronavirus disease 2019 has resulted in most people being confused about how testing is done to determine whether or not you have coronavirus. This is because the varying tests are done separately. In this article, you will get to understand what is antibody testing and the role it plays.

Typically, antibody testing is performed to determine if a person had COVID-19 in the past and whether they created antibodies in the blood. A test to diagnose coronavirus is typically done to find out if you have been infected with the virus at the moment. Keep reading this article to find more on what is antibody test are and their role.

What Does Antibody Test Need?

  • It is possible to carry out the test on your own.
  • A test is sent to you via the post, where you will be required to follow instructions carefully.
  • After reading the instructions, you will have to use a lancet tool to prick your fingertip and draw by squeezing some blood into a test tube.
  • After you are done doing the test, you will be required to post your test in a royal mail priority postbox.

How An Antibody Test Work

This process works so that the doctor takes blood from the drawn blood sample. The test will then be performed to track the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 and antibodies. The proteins are used to fight coronavirus. Antibodies come in two types which include;

  • IgM antibodies that happen early in the infection.
  • IgG antibodies will happen later after you have been infected by COVID-19.

Most people who have had coronavirus get IgG antibodies. This can happen 14 days after being infected, and the symptoms show. Typically, the antibodies tend to stay in the blood for longer, but the new virus does not know how long it will stay. Some blood samples will be needed to conduct an antibody test for the new virus. Collecting this sample will need the doctor to do the following;

  • Clean your skin by wiping it.
  • Then make your veins swell up with blood by tying an elastic band over the area
  • They will then inject the needle into the vein, typically in the back of your hand or in the arm inside the elbow.
  • The doctor will then remove the elastic band, and the needle is pulled out of the vein.

The doctors will sometimes use a fingerstick to perform the antibody test. During this process, your doctor will first clean your skin and then prick the tip of the finger with a lancet or a small needle to collect the blood.

When to Collect the Antibody Testing and Why is It a Necessity?

The process of testing antibodies is also referred to as serology testing. This process should always be done when you have fully recovered from COVID-19. Based on the testing kits, eligibility tends to differ. A doctor will prick the tip of your finger to collect a blood sample from the vein in your arm. The sample is then tested to know whether or not you have developed antibodies that will help fight the virus. The immune system usually produces antibodies. They are the proteins that help in combating the virus to eliminate it.

If the test shows that you have antibodies, this shows that you had coronavirus at some point. But there is less evidence showing that antibodies will stop you from contracting the virus again. We also do not know the level of immunity and how long it will last in your blood. But we hope that the ongoing research will reveal this eventually. When doing an antibody test, the timing and the type of test typically affect the accuracy of the test.

The test might not detect the availability of antibodies if it is conducted too early in the course of infection. Now the immunity keeps building up in the body. It is, therefore, best if I did the test after 14 days because here, the symptoms will have started to show up. The tests that cause questionable accuracy are still conducted after the U.S FDA authorized antibody tests. Accurate antibody tests allow those that have created them to donate plasma after they have recovered from the pandemic. The type of plasma referred to as convalescent plasma can be used to treat those with serious illnesses and aid them in fighting the virus.

How to Reduce Spread of COVID-19 Using Antibody Testing

A COVID-19 diagnostic test allows you to seek treatment early before the virus becomes serious. It will also allow the health department to trace the contact early and start self-isolating sooner. And this will help curb the spread of this virus.


We hope after reading this article, you have understood what is antibody test and the role it plays. But you need to note that not all tests are accurate. You might have the virus, and the test still comes negative. These results are called false, and therefore it is essential to follow the instructions for COVID-19 set by the centers for disease control and prevention. Make sure you wear your mask and maintain social distancing while in public. 

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