Antibody test – to test for presence of antibodies
Antibody test to check for past infection
· Identifies those who have shown an immune response to a past COVID-19 infection
· The test detects for COVID 19 IgG antibody using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA test)
· Involves a venous blood sample which is done by a doctor that will visit you at home
· Results are given within 72 hours
· Test is for 18 years and older.
How Accurate it the test?
· At least 97.5% sensitivity (true positives) and 99.8% specificity (true negatives)
Who should do the test?
· Anyone who feels they have had the infection but did not get a PCR test at the time of illness
· Anyone who had the PCR test during an illness but had a negative or equivocal result and want to know if their symptoms were due to COVID 19
· Those that want to check if they have produced antibodies to COVID 19 following a period of illness (with or without any PCR testing for COVID 19)
· For peace of mind to see if you have made an immune response to COVID 19 in the past
· For those who wish to see if they still continue to have antibodies following a previous positive result
When to do the test?
The test should be done at any time after 14 days from having exposure to the virus or having symptoms that you feel may have been caused by COVID 19.
Interpreting results of the COVID 19 antibody test
· A positive result means you were exposed to COVID 19
· A negative result means you have not produced IgG antibodies. This may mean you were not exposed to COVID 19 but can also happen even if you had a positive PCR test during the time of your illness. In this case, it may mean your body didn’t mount an immune response to allow antibodies to be produced or it may mean the antibodies you initially produced may now be at undetectable levels
· Currently there are no studies to provide evidence on whether having a positive result will provide you with immunity against future infection from COVID 19
· There is also very little data on how long antibodies will last but we hope to get more clarity on this as new evidence starts to emerge