Did you know that you can get a blood test to look for signs of a previous infection for Covid-19? This antibody test can detect the proteins in the blood that are responsible for fighting off infections. This innovative test is lauded for its potential to understand the prevalence of Covid-19 in many communities.
However, this type of testing method is different from a Covid-19 diagnostic test. As a result, it should not be relied upon as an accurate predictor of individual immunity. But how does antibody testing work? Keep on reading to find out more about antibody testing.
Why Is Antibody Testing Important?
Antibodies are central in how the body responds to viral infections. The body needs to develop antibodies that are essential for fighting a certain infection. This is why testing for antibodies in individuals is important to determine who has been infected with the Covid-19 virus.
Antibody testing has been heralded as a vital component in the fight against the Covid-19 virus. They are significantly different from diagnostic tests because they do not only show an active infection. This is a breakthrough in helping the global community to understand who has immunity against this novel virus. Moreover, it will help to estimate the trajectory of how the virus spreads and its lethality. This testing technique is an invaluable resource for developing alternative treatment techniques for those infected with the Covid-19 virus.
How Does Antibody Testing Work?
The antibody test looks for two different types of antibodies. For SARS-Cov-2 and the Covid-19 causing virus. These antibodies can either show up early or later on in an infection. A technician will draw blood from a patient, the most common method is through a finger prick.
However, the antibodies are usually present 14 days after infection. They can stay in the blood for an indeterminate period. Currently, it is only free for specific people.
In 2016, more than a quarter (27%) of U.S. patients reported that they had visited an urgent care center within the last two years. This number has increased significantly since the pandemic began. Antibody testing should help to decrease the number of people who need urgent care. It can improve the speed of treatment development for the different strains of the Covid-19 virus.
The advantage of this testing method is that it is less invasive compared to the diagnostic test that scrapes off a sample of saliva or mucus.