counter-bg (1).jpg
What is Antibody Testing
VACCINE FINGER PRICK TEST.jpg
IgG/IgM Antibodies Test

Verify that you had COVID-19.

Schedule online. It's easy, fast and secure.

IgG/IgM Antibody Fact Insights 
  • Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infection

  • Takes 7-14 days after infection to make antibodies - some 7-21 days

  • You may test positive for antibodies even if you have never had symptoms

  • 1 in 5 people infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic

  • About 40% of infections are spread by asymptomatic people w/ high viral loads

  • The presence of IgG suggests the infection happened weeks to months in the past

  • The presence of IgM suggests the infection is recent - as recent as 3 days ago

What are the Symptoms of COVID-19 Infection?
  • Fever or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

What do your Antibody results mean?
If you test positive
  • A positive test result shows you may have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, there is a chance that a positive result means you have antibodies from an infection with a different virus from the same family of viruses (called coronaviruses). Note: Other coronaviruses cannot produce a positive result on a viral test for SARS-CoV-2.

  • Having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 may provide protection from getting infected with the virus again. But even if it does, we do not know how much protection the antibodies may provide or how long this protection may last. Confirmed and suspected cases of reinfection have been reported, but remain rare.

  • If you work in a job where you wear personal protective equipment (PPE), continue wearing PPE.

  • You may test positive for antibodies even if you have never had symptoms of COVID-19. This can happen if you had an infection without symptoms, which is called an asymptomatic infection.

If you test negative
  • You may not have ever had COVID-19. Talk with your healthcare provider about your test result and the type of test you took to understand what your result means

  • You could have a current infection or been recently infected.

  • The test may be negative because it typically takes 1–3 weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies. It’s possible you could still get sick if you have been exposed to the virus recently. This means you could still spread the virus.

  • Some people may take even longer to develop antibodies, and some people who are infected may not ever develop antibodies.

If you get symptoms after the antibody test, you might need another test called a viral test​. Viral tests identify the virus in samples from your respiratory system, such as a swab from the inside of your nose. 

 

Regardless of whether you test positive or negative, the results do not confirm whether you are able to spread the virus that causes COVID-19. Until we know more, continue to take steps to protect yourself and others.

What is an antibody test? What are antibodies to COVID-19?


Antibody tests are blood tests that look for the presence of antibodies. Antibodies are specific proteins made is response to an infection. Antibodies can be found in the blood and other tissues of those who were tested after infection. The antibodies detected by these tests indicate that a person had an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 which is the virus that causes COVID-19. Even if the person did not have symptoms from COVID-19 infection, those that were infected will develop antibodies.




If I have the antibodies, do I have immunity to COVID-19?


No one knows for sure. Since COVID-19 is a new virus, scientists are still determining whether those that have antibodies have full immunity, only partial immunity or no immunity to future infections with COVID-19. In other words, we are still not sure whether having antibodies to COVID-19 from previous COVID-19 infection will protect you from future infections with COVID-19. We also do not know how long COVID 19 antibodies will last in your body.




Who should get antibody testing?


While your doctor can order the antibody testing for you, this type of testing is not currently recommended for most people. These tests are new and many have not been validated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Currently, per the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), antibody testing is most helpful in identifying plasma donors who have recovered from COVID-19 infection to enroll them in studies to help develop possible treatment and vaccines. It can also help gather data on the prevalence of COVID-19 infection in the public. The ISDH is currently doing antibody testing for this reason. In the future, antibody testing will be used to verify response to COVID-19 vaccination.
Antibody testing is not currently recommended for individuals to see if they have had infection with COVID-19 in the past because it is not always accurate, and it is not known if antibodies to COVID-19 are protective against future infection. It is important to understand that a blood test is not a test for active infection. If you have symptoms concerning for COVID-19 infection, you should have another type of test, a PCR test, done by a swab of the inside of your nose, to see if you have COVID-19 infection.




If I have antibodies does that mean I already had COVID-19?


It can mean that you have had the COVID-19 infection in the past. However, sometimes it can be a “false positive” meaning that the test shows antibodies even though that individual has never had COVID-19 infection and is not protected against COVID-19. One reason is that, for some of the tests, a positive result can mean you have been exposed to a different virus in the “coronavirus” family that is not the COVID-19 virus. There are 6 other coronaviruses that can affect people, and most of them lead to common cold symptoms. It takes around 10-18 days from exposure to COVID-19 for the body to produce enough antibodies to be detected in the blood.




Why are we asking people with these antibodies to donate plasma?


Researchers are testing the use of donated blood as a treatment for people with severe COVID-19. People who have recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies to the disease in their blood. Doctors call this convalescent plasma. Researchers hope that convalescent plasma can be given to people with severe COVID-19 to boost their ability to fight the virus.
Before donated blood can be used, it must be tested for safety. It then goes through a process to separate out blood cells so that all that is left is plasma with antibodies. The immediate goal of the current research is to determine if convalescent plasma can improve the chance of recovery for people with the most severe disease. A second goal is to test whether convalescent plasma can help keep people who are moderately sick from getting sicker. If you have had and recovered from COVID-19, consider donating blood through the American Red Cross or your local donation center. They can provide information about the donation process.