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Antibody Test to detect COVID-19

An accurate, easy and simple blood test to know if you had a novel coronavirus infection recently

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Antibody Test for COVID-19 checks for antibodies in your blood. A human body produces antibodies in blood when it fights an infectious diseases like COVID-19. Similar antibodies develop for instance, when you take a particular vaccine shot against some flue. This is exactly how you build immunity against a virus.

The Antibody Test for COVID-19 has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) via its advisory dated June 23, 2020

Who should be tested?

If you think you might have come into contact with a COVID-19 positive patient recently, or if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and have fully recovered, you can probably get tested for antibodies.

Remember

Antibody test is meant for detecting past infections from COVID-19. It is not meant for detecting current infection from the novel coronavirus. For current infections, you can get an antigen test or an RT-PCR test based on your doctor advice.

When you should get a COVID-19 antibody test?

Usually, after an infection with the COVID-19 virus, it can take 2-3 weeks to develop enough antibodies to be detected through an antibody test. Therefore it is important that you don’t get yourself tested too soon. The strength of antibody response depends on several factors, including age, nutritional status, severity of disease, and certain medications or infections like HIV that suppress the immune system..

Quick facts about Antibody Test for COVID-19

Fast

Analysis within 18 minutes and report usually on the same day

Easy

Very small quantity of blood sample is required

Process

Blood sample is drawn from a vein in your arm and thereafter, the sample is tested in our lab

Sample Collections

Samples can be collected from anywhere; at lab, in home, from office, from factory, etc.

Preparations

Wear a face mask while giving your blood sample. Technician must also wear a face mask, face shield and sterile gloves

How much does the COVID-19 Antibody Test Costs at RxDx?

This test costs ₹ 500/- if samples are collected at RxDx Bengaluru branches in Whitefield, Kadugodi, Siddapura, Bellandur and RxDx SAMANVAY branch in Malleswaram, North Bengaluru. A home visit for the same will cost ₹ 400/- extra within 5 km radius of our branches.

RxDx is organizing camps all over Bengaluru and adjoining districts for Antibody Tests. Apartments, societies, offices, corporates, factories or industries can contact our helpline numbers or leave their details in the Request for Info Forms to receive a call back from our representatives. Camp costs are as follows:

 

Antibody Tests for COVID-19 (CAMP MODE) in and around Bengaluru Amount (₹)
For a batch of 1 to 5 persons 900
For a batch of 6 to 10 persons 850
For a batch of 11 to 24 persons 800
For a batch of 25 to 49 persons 750
For a batch of 50 and above persons 700

Antibody Test vs Antigen Test

Antigen Test

This newer COVID-19 test detects certain proteins that are part of the virus. Using a nasal or throat swab to get a fluid sample, antigen tests can produce results in minutes. Because these tests are faster and less expensive than molecular tests are, some experts consider antigen tests more practical to use for large numbers of people. A positive antigen test result is considered very accurate, but there’s an increased chance of false negative results — meaning it’s possible to be infected with the virus but have negative antigen test results. So antigen tests aren’t as sensitive as molecular tests are. Depending on the situation, the doctor may recommend a molecular test to confirm a negative antigen test result.

Antibody Test

The body immune system produces antibodies — proteins that are critical for fighting and clearing out the virus. Depending on the method used for the antibody test, the COVID-19 antibodies are generally observed after a median of 10-13 days after symptom onset for IgM while about 12-14 days for IgG.

Whereas IgM seems to disappear around week, high IgG seropositivity is seen at that time. Levels and chronological order of IgM and IgG antibody appearance are highly variable, supporting detection of both antibodies simultaneously.

Few important points to consider about the Antibody Test results

What, if you test positive for COVID-19 antibodies?

  • Don’t let your guard down if your antibodies test results are positive. Continue to protect yourself and others since you could get infected with the virus again. Scientists are working to understand this. If you work in a job where you wear personal protective equipment (PPE), continue wearing PPE
  • It is quite possible that some antibody tests can mistake IgM and IgG antibodies from other coronaviruses, such as the common cold strains, for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies
  • If your antibody test result for SARS-CoV-2 is positive, it probably means you were infected by the virus recently. However, it is also possible to get a “false positive” if you have antibodies but had a different kind of coronavirus
  • A positive antibody result might mean you have some immunity to the coronavirus. But it certainly is not your immunity passport. In fact, it’s premature to know how strong your antibodies are and how long it can give you the protection against COVID-19
  • You test results for antibodies may turn out to be positive even if you have never had symptoms of COVID-19. This usually happen if you had an infection without symptoms, which is called an asymptomatic infection.

What, if you test negative for COVID-19 antibodies

  • A negative result might indicate that either you have not come into contact with the novel corona virus or you have not had it long enough to make antibodies against COVID-19. You could also have been exposed and not have antibodies. This is called a false negative

FAQs

How do we get antibodies in our body?

Antigens trigger the production of antibodies, also called immunoglobulins. Five types of immunoglobulins are produced in our body for different purposes. IgM and IgG are the major players in detection of COVID infection.

How antibody test is done for COVID-19?

Blood sample is drawn from a vein in your arm and thereafter, the sample is tested in a lab using advanced machines. It takes just 18 minutes for the test to be performed. Report is usually generated on the same day.

How can antibody test help in studying Herd Immunity?

The possibility of COVID-19 infection manifesting as asymptomatic in patients make it more difficult to detect or trace spread pattern. Hence, states in India have been carrying out serology surveys. A sero-prevalence of 60-70% could head towards herd immunity assuming presence of antibodies equalled to protection against the SARS-Cov-2 for a while.

Dr Lalit Kant, former head of epidemiology and infectious disease at Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), advised, “A sero survey is necessary to find out the true burden of the infection in the city or state. More importantly it helps identify the number of asymptomatic people who had the disease and recovered from it. Such people, in most cases, are not even aware that they are infected.” – Hindustan Times
Know More

What makes some people more vulnerable to COVID?

Latest research at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology reveals the possible reason for a poor disease outcome to be a weak or uncoordinated immunity. The study talks about the potential role of antibodies and T cells in fighting off a COVID infection and suggests the necessity of a multi-layered, viral specific immune response to control the acute phase of COVID and reduce symptom severity.

How an antibody test works?

An antibody test fast checks for antibodies in your blood. Your body makes antibodies when you get an infection. They help fight the infection. If you have coronavirus antibodies in your blood, it’s likely you’ve had the virus before. It’s not known if having antibodies stops you getting the virus again

Why Antibody test is important for COVID-19?

This test offers a way for a person to know if they have had COVID-19 in the recent past.

How is the immune system in older people related to COVID severity?

As per the study conducted at La Jolla Institute for Immunology, in the elderly, the declining T cell reservoir activated against a virus makes their immune response less coordinated, hence factoring in drastic increase of susceptibility to disease severity or fatal outcomes.

What are T cells?
These are types of lymphocytes produced predominantly in the Thymus gland. They act like a hunting group against any foreign body invading our system. T cells- named after the organ of origin, focus on specific pathogens, and play more than one role in fighting off an infection. Some types like helper T cells stimulate B cells to produce antibodies while other types produce cytokines that in turn, further stimulate the immune system.