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What is Antibody testing?

When someone is infected with a virus (or any other infectious agent), their body’s immune system produces antibodies to fight against the infection. The same goes for COVID-19 infection, which triggers our immune system to produce antibodies to fight against it. Now, these antibodies last in the body for several months to years. In line with this theory, the detection of such antibodies gives you a clear picture of your current immune status.

Is this test a replacement for the RT-PCR test?

No, RT-PCR test is a confirmatory test for diagnosing infection. An antibody test is only used to check your immune status against the infection. The two are totally different.

If the test is positive, what does it mean?

It means that you must have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 sometime back with or without your knowledge and now your body has developed immunity against the infection and you are having antibodies. It gives confidence that your body has the power to face it.

If the test is negative what does it mean?

It means that you have not come in exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus so far.

Does a positive result also mean that I may be infected now?

If you are positive for antibody and if you are also not having symptoms, it may indicate that you had encountered it and you managed it well.

However, if you have symptoms related to COVID you must meet your doctor for a need for a PCR test.

Which antibody did you test, IgG, or IgM or Total Antibody?

As of now, we do IgG since ICMR has focused on that. However, ICMR also has approved Total Antibody kits, which are highly automated and thereby eliminate manual errors that are involved in IgG ELISA. We allow the customer to choose in case he has the knowledge, while the default is IgG estimation.

Can we get tested for both antibodies together in the same sample?

Of course. Thyrocare is offering COVID — GT profile, which tests both IgG and Total antibody individually and it is priced at Rs. 1000. In this, when both are positive, it is doubly sure that it is positive, and negative when both the tests are negative. However, there are 20/o chances where one is positive and the other is negative — that can be called as indeterminate and we advise to repeat for a month. The cost includes home collections in major cities in India.

Do we need a doctor’s prescription?

No. It can be self-referred. Also no need for fasting. What we need is 2 ml of blood. Please note, it is not a swab test.

If I am diagnosed as COVID positive in the RT-PCR test already – Can I do this test to check if I am negative or not?

No. To understand whether the infection has got cleared from your body, you will have to go for the RT-PCR test only. An antibody test is only used to check your immune status against the infection.


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Rajat Singh
Rajat Singh is the chief Author at Bioinformatics India, he has been writing for the past 3 years and has a special interest in SEO, Technology, Health, Life Sciences and gaming.

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