COVID-19: Do You Have the Antibodies?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and vaccines become more readily available to the general population, you may be left wondering whether or not you carry the antibodies. But what are antibodies? How are antibody tests used? Are you immune?

What are Antibodies?

Antibodies are proteins produced during the body’s immune response to infection. If you have detectable antibody levels, you have either have been successfully vaccinated or have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus in the past. Most people will have detectable antibody levels by 14 days after vaccination or onset of symptoms and levels are presumed to remain elevated for some time. At this time, it is not known how long antibodies will persist following vaccination or infection.

What are antibody tests?

Antibody testing plays a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 by assessing the antibody response in individuals and populations. Testing identifies patients who have been successfully vaccinated or have been previously exposed to COVID-19 in the past.

Why Is COVID-19 Antibody Testing Important?

Antibody tests inform you on whether you have been successfully vaccinated, or were exposed to the COVID-19 virus, especially since a large number of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients will not be diagnosed with molecular (swab-based) testing. Antibody tests can help healthcare providers assess individual and population exposure to the virus, as well as measuring a person’s vaccine-induced immune response. This is especially important as decisions continue to be made about how society moves forward amid the pandemic.

What Test Technology Is Used?

BioReference utilizes Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S immunoassay technology. This test can measure the quantity of antibodies to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein of the SARS-CoV2 virus, which is the causative agent of Covid-19. The RBD-spike protein complex is the part of the virus that binds to human cells, which is required for the virus to enter the host cell.

How Is A Sample Collected?

Antibody testing is completed with a blood specimen. Blood specimen collection for antibody testing is available at all BioReference Patient Service Centers. Please remember that a patient cannot order their own tests, and a healthcare provider’s requisition or laboratory script is required for testing. Click here to find a location or schedule an appointment.

If you are a healthcare provider, click here to become a client so you can begin ordering COVID-19 tests and learn more about our COVID-19 solutions here.