The world is gradually recovering from the covid-19 pandemic and readjusting to mainstream activities. However, questions are still being asked, what exactly is a COVID-19 antigen test, and how does it differ from other covid-19 diagnostic tests? What are the expected results for people who undertake the test?
Like other diagnostic covid-19 tests, you should be knowledgeable about the facts that go in line with the Antibody Test and what reasonable action to take before and after getting the results.
What are antibodies?
Antibodies are forms of proteins generated by the body’s immune system to counter viruses’ attacks and help ward future complications or infections caused by the same viruses.
The antibodies take an unstipulated number of days or even weeks to develop after SAR-COV-2 infection.
What You Should Know About the Covid-19 Antibody Test
• What is antibody testing, and how different is it from the other diagnostic covid-19 tests?
When carrying out a covid-19 diagnostic test, you’re trying to detect the presence of the SAR-COV-2 virus in the body. In such a test, you require lab technology to ferret out genetic material of the virus in samples swabbed from the nasal cavity, based on a common molecular testing technique, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
On the contrary, the covid-19 antigen test is carried out on blood samples while studying the body’s immune response to the virus.
• Time is taken for people to generate antibodies.
There is no conclusive data to ascertain the actual time taken by the body to create antibodies against the SAR-CoV-2. In some reports, it has been stated that a healthy person may take around two weeks to generate the antibodies.
The production of antibodies is mainly affected by factors such as having chronic health issues or taking immune-suppressing drugs, which affects people’s ability to produce antibodies.
• What does a positive covid-19 Antibody test mean for your immunity?
Although everyone wishes to get a quick and precise answer to this puzzling question, the short answer is that there is no certainty to it.
The test outcome may mean you have complete, partial, or no immune. Some antibodies reduce over time, meaning you may be immune for a Year, and then the immunity slowly flops with time.
• Covid-19 Antibody testing can’t ascertain symptoms exhibited by a person.
Antibodies start appearing in the blood after about 11 to 14 days upon infection. The covid-19 symptoms occur from the first week of illness to ten days, a time when the antibodies have not been generated. Hence, it’s true to state that the antibody test can’t ascertain covid-19 symptoms.
• Testing positive for covid-19 Antibodies does not mean you have covid-19.
While taking a covid-19 antigen test, there is a real possibility of getting ‘false positive ‘ results. This means that a different virus from the SAR-COV-2 may be picked by the test. For example, a ‘cross-reaction’ of the other four forms of coronavirus that cause the common cold may lead to a false result.
• Is it right to assume that you are immune after testing positive on the covid-19 antibodies?
The definite answer? No. Having positive antibodies to the SAR-CoV-2 may be short-lived immunity since the antibodies may decline with time. Thus, you require reliable measures even after a positive covid-19 Antibody test.
• Is the covid-19 antibody test reliable for accurate results?
A covid-19 antibody test may not provide 100% accurate results. That’s because the blood is widely exposed to other pathogens, which may disorient the test results. You are, therefore. advised to use additional diagnostic tests for accurate results.