What is the role of the COVID-19 antibody test?

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What is the role of the COVID-19 antibody test?

What is the role of the COVID-19 antibody test?

What is the role of the COVID-19 antibody test?

Antibodies are the proteins that the body synthesizes to fight against the virus. There are specific antibodies that are synthesized to fight against a specific virus.

There are commonly two types IgM and IgG. IgM appears in the body early after infection with the virus and is short-lasting. The presence of this antibody in the blood suggests that you may be having an ongoing infection or you recently had the virus infection. IgG antibody appears later and suggests a past infection from which you have recovered.

What is a Coronavirus diagnostic test – Coronavirus diagnostic test tells you that you have an ongoing coronavirus infection. The antibody test is not a good test for this purpose as a positive antibody may mean that you had exposure to the virus in the past.

Use of antibody test

Antibody testing for coronavirus can be very valuable to the scientist to understand the presence of infection in society. Many patients of coronavirus may not be aware that they suffered from virus infection as many patients develop a very mild disease. If all the population is tested for coronavirus antibody then we will come to know who had coronavirus infection. So, it tells us how common the virus is in society. It also gives us the idea that is what percentage of patients it is mild or serious. The patients with antibodies may be immune to the virus then they may not need vaccination.

There is another role of identifying people who have a high concentration of antibodies in the blood. There is another experimental treatment where plasma is transfused to seriously affected patients, so patients with high titer of antibodies can be identified and they can donate their plasma.

Accuracy of antibodies test

Unfortunately, the antibody result may not be accurate. it can be false positive means antibodies is present in the blood but it is due to other similar virus infection in the past like flu infection.

It can also be false-negative that means although the patient had a COVID-19 infection the body has not produced enough immunity.

As these test results are not always accurate, it is important to follow the standard guidelines about the prevention of the corona virus.

Dr. Rakesh Rai. MS, FRCS, MD, CCT, ASTS Fellow (USA)