COVID-19 antibody tests are used to determine if you have a history of infection, or to determine your body’s immune response to the production of antibodies after being vaccinated against COVID-19.
Who should take this test?
An antibody test can be performed for anyone who is interested in finding out if their body has developed antibodies (whether after vaccination or infection with a virus).
Antibody testing can be crucial for people with weakened immune systems, or for those who take certain drugs that weaken their immune systems.
Determining the presence of antibodies can also be useful for people who share a household with people at risk.
How is antibody test being done?
Taking an antibody test (also known as a serological test) is a relatively simple, almost painless task. Blood is drawn from the fingertip, which is then examined for the presence of immune-produced antibody proteins designed to combat COVID-19 infection or even after vaccination. Antibody tests are performed by an instrumental immunochromatographic method.
What antibodies do we measure?
After overcoming COVID-19 or after vaccination each individual develops specific antibodies to the pathogen to which the individual has been exposed. The aim of antibody production is to protect the body against infection with the virus and to help fight the ongoing infection.
Our tests detect the presence of IgG and IgM antibodies. What exactly does that mean?
The presence of specific IgM blood antibodies is a sign of an ongoing infection (acute phase of the disease). These antibodies begin to form on the seventh to tenth day after contact with the virus and can take several weeks to form.
The presence of specific blood IgG antibodies is a sign of past infection or immunization after vaccination. IgG antibodies provide information on whether you have survived an infection or have been in contact with the virus in the past, and may provide protection against recurrent infection.
It takes from one to three days for these antibodies to start to populate after IgM and copy their growth for a few days until they are ahead of their value. They stay in the body for a long time, so if you want to be tested, for example, after vaccination, it is better to wait at least 14 days.
Test evaluation: What do the results mean?
After completing the antibody test, you will be issued a certificate with the test results (in our case, within 40 minutes). You will see the result in the following format:
The COI (cut-off-index) number is expressed in its own special unit and is used, so that you can monitor the dynamics of antibodies in your body during repeated visits to our testing site.
Our COI number cannot be compared with COI from another company or recalculated to another unit, such as mmol / L or mg / L.
Interpretation of results
IgM antibodies (formed during ongoing infection and shortly after overcoming)
- IgM negative – if the COI number is less than 1.0.
- IgM positive – if the COI number is greater than or equal to 1.0. It is a manifestation of an acute infection or a recently overcome disease. They appear approximately 8 to 11 days after the onset of symptoms and usually resolve within 30 to 50 days of onset.
IgG antibodies (formed after overcoming the disease / after vaccination)
- IgG negative – if the COI number is less than 1.0.
- IgG positive – if the COI number is greater than or equal to 1.0. it is a manifestation of an previously acquired infection (IgG antibodies do not start until after the IgM antibodies have fallen) or after vaccination. They indicate that the infection has been overcome or that you have been vaccinated and your body has developed antibodies. They form 2 to 3 weeks after the first symptoms of the disease or vaccination. They remain in the blood for several months and serve as the longest indicator of an infection or vaccine. However, the overall persistence of these antibodies after vaccination is still the subject of current studies.
The positive incidence of both IgM and IgG may indicate a recent infection. If the antibody test detects the presence of IgM antibodies only, and simultaneously IgG antibodies are not present, the patient may still be infectious and home quarantine is required.
Antibodies after vaccination
Antibodies after vaccination with two vaccines are formed in 98-99% of the population. In practice, this means that 1-2% of vaccinated individuals may not develop antibodies. The lack of antibodies may be due to their natural decline, immunodeficiency, or the specificity of the immune system of an individual who has destroyed their own antibodies.
Therefore, you can take the antibody test even after vaccination.
Are these tests reliable?
The tests are characterized by high sensitivity (up to 95%), which means that if antibodies are present in the body, there is less than a 5% chance that they would not be detected and the tested person would get a false negative result.
Important: What should be kept in mind when testing for antibodies?
- This type of test does not check for the presence of the virus and therefore cannot be used to diagnose ongoing COVID-19 disease.
- The result of this test does not serve as proof of infectivity.
- The result of the examination provides information whether or not antibodies to COVID-19 have developed in the body.
- It is not yet known a recommended level that can be considered sufficiently protective.
- Therefore, it is appropriate to monitor the dynamics of antibody production over time. This means that the level of antibodies needs to be re-checked, as their levels may decrease over time.
- As antibody production can take up to several weeks, it is important that their presence be tested some time after infection and not too soon.
- Even a sufficient level of IgG antibodies does not guarantee complete protection, and therefore all anti-pandemic measures must continue to be followed.
Would you like to find out the level of antibodies? Book your date today. Just pick your testing site, date, and time. We are testing at these 19 sites in Slovakia: Bratislava, Banská Bystrica, Banská Štiavnica, Košice, Liptovský Mikuláš, Martin, Nitra, Nová Dubnica, Piešťany, Poprad, Považská Bystrica, Prešov, Púchov, Senec, Spišská Nová Ves, Šaštín Stráže, Trenčín, Trnava, Žilina.
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- The examination is performed directly by taking capillary blood from a finger.
- Higher sensitivity compared to conventional rapid tests.
- Detection of antibodies after the disease and after vaccination (spike and nucleocapsid protein).
- Numerical expression of the result value in the form of COI (cut-off index) using a Standard F200 instrument (immunofluorescence).
- Result via SMS and EMAIL within 40 minutes.