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What is an antibody test?
Antibody tests check your blood by looking for antibodies, which may tell you if you had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infections and can provide protection against getting that disease again (immunity). Antibodies are disease specific.
What kind of sample do you need for the antibody tests?
For antibody tests you need to provide a blood sample. We have several conveniently located patient service centers where a medical professional will draw your blood. The entire process is very quick and simple.
Please click on link for nearest patient service center.
What is the difference between IgG and IgM antibody tests?
For COVID-19, the only difference between these two antibody tests is when you were exposed to COVID-19. Your body produces these antibodies at different times post exposure to COVID-19. If you have been exposed to COVID-19 less than 2 weeks ago, then the antibody IgM test is best. If it has been over a month since COVID-19 exposure, then IgG is the most appropriate test for you. It is recommended that if you are not sure when you have been exposed to COVID-19 to choose the combination IgG + IgM antibody test.
What does it mean if I have a positive test result?
If you have a positive test result, it is likely that you previously had COVID-19 and that you have developed an antibody response to the virus.
What does it mean if I have a negative test result?
A negative test result means that the antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 were not found in your sample. A negative result may occur if you are tested early in your illness and your body hasn’t had time to produce antibodies to infection.
If I have antibodies to COVID-19, does it mean I could get it again?
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.
Is this the same as a COVID-19 antigen test?
No. An antigen test is a specialized diagnostic test to confirm that a person has an active coronavirus infection. Most often a clinician takes a swab of your nose (or both your nose and throat). Some tests may be done using a saliva sample. The sample is then checked for the virus's genetic material or for specific viral proteins. Foundation Laboratory doesn’t provide COVID-19 antigen test without a clinician prescription.
For more detailed information on antibody testing, please refer to the links below.
FDA Factsheet for Healthcare Providers #1
FDA Factsheet for Healthcare Providers #2