A blood test called COVID-19 antibody testing, sometimes called serology testing, is performed to see if you’ve ever been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused coronavirus sickness in 2019. Using an antibody test, you cannot tell if you are currently infected with the COVID-19 virus. After receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, specific antibody tests may indicate that you have the required antibodies.
One of them that assesses the number of various antibody types in the blood is an IgG antibody test. It guards against bacterial and viral diseases and is found in blood and other bodily fluids.
How do IgG antibodies work?
The human immunity system produces the proteins IgM and IgG antibodies in response to an infection. IgG follows IgM in appearance order. The IgG antibodies will attempt to combat the virus when your body is unmasked to it. Typically, 1-3 weeks after infection, the COVID-19 IgG antibodies appear. This timeline may vary depending if an individual is affected by COVID-19 or not.
This COVID-19 antibody test examines your blood which is taken as a sample for COVID-19-specific IgG antibodies. This blood test should count the number of antibodies and determine whether you have IgG antibodies. The final results are typically available 72 hours after the test.
What Happens During an IgG Antibody Test?
A little amount of blood is typically drawn from a vein for blood testing. A healthcare provider will:
- Wash your skin.
- To cause the veins to fill with blood, place an elastic band (tourniquet) over the affected area.
- Prick a vein with a needle (usually in the arm inside the elbow or on the back of the hand).
- Draw the blood sample into a syringe or bottle.
- The needle should be removed from the vein after removing the elastic band.
- The testing can occasionally be performed using a fingerstick test.
Blood samples from infants are occasionally collected via heel sticks. Your baby’s heel will be pricked by a tiny needle (or lancet) after the region has been cleaned to obtain a small blood sample. Blood sampling can feel like a short pinprick and is only briefly painful.
How Members Can Access IgG Antibody Testing:
Currently, there are numerous options for evaluating antibodies. If you wish to get tested for antibodies, you should speak with your doctor to receive a test script since a prescription is required for the procedure.
Free-standing labs rather than hospital labs will be the most economical places to conduct tests. You may be directed by your primary care physician (PCP) to the patient service area of a lab for a blood draw. It would be best if you suggested that the blood sample be delivered to a free-standing lab rather than a more expensive hospital lab, as some PCPs may collect the blood at their office and send it to a lab for analysis.
Remember that the price of an antibody test ordered or drawn at an urgent care facility, a hospital’s associated provider, or a hospital’s affiliated lab is higher than that of an antibody test called or removed by a PCP and submitted to an independent participating lab.
Otherwise, you can decide to pay for yourself and arrange a direct antibody test appointment. The entire expense would be your responsibility. These direct-to-consumer choices are much more expensive than insurance rates and are not covered by insurance. Currently, there are no at-home antibody testing kits that have FDA approval.
IgG Antibody test outcomes might show:
A positive test results in the presence of COVID-19 antibodies in the blood, proving prior exposure to the virus. It is possible to test positive even if you never experienced any COVID-19 symptoms. Test results that are falsely positive can happen. It’s possible that the test’s accuracy was poor or that it found antibodies to a coronavirus closely related to the COVID-19 virus.
A negative result signifies that you do not have COVID-19 antibodies, indicating that you have not previously been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. False-negative test results may occur if the blood sample is taken too soon after your infection begins since antibodies take time to develop. The test may have issues in various circumstances.
People who have had COVID-19 or tested positive for antibodies shouldn’t use this to guarantee they won’t contract the virus again. Researchers want to know if antibodies offer some protection against the COVID-19 virus, how much protection they offer, and how long that protection might continue.
According to the CDC, it is unknown if COVID-19 IgG antibodies offer protection against reinfection. Research is being conducted to determine whether COVID-19 antibodies provide any protection as anticipated. There are numerous antibody tests available; however, their accuracy varies. Be sure to seek assistance from expert professionals to learn more about this topic.