An antibody test is used to detect the presence of an antigen or foreign protein in a specimen by using antibodies that bind specifically with the target antigen or foreign protein. Antigen/foreign proteins can be detected through various methods, including agglutination, ELISA, and indirect immunofluorescence. 

Antibody testing is ordered to screen infants, children, and adults for early pregnancy. This test requires a blood sample drawn by needle from the person needing testing. If you have symptoms related to COVID-19, you may need to see a laboratory offering antibody testing in Otsego to get tested. Here is all you need to know about the test.

How Does It Work?

Antibody testing is a blood test in which the blood sample taken from an individual by a needle is used. The antibody testing kit includes the Micro-Wells Strip, reagents, and buffers required to set up the assay. If your doctor orders antibody testing, your health care provider will provide you with the test kit used to perform this test. Your name and date of birth must label the blood collection tube, and the laboratory code provided. If you are unsure about the procedure, consult your doctor before doing it yourself.

What Information Will Be Provided by the Antibody Testing?

Antibody tests for COVID-19 provide valuable information about antibodies in the blood that identify different types of viruses and bacteria, including toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus, echovirus, parvovirus B19, and the Epstein-Barr virus. The test may be positive or negative depending on antibodies in the blood. Usually, a positive test result means that you have been infected with this antigen or foreign protein, while a negative result means that you have not been infected with it. You should get the results within a few days after collecting your blood specimen.

What Are the Limitations of Antibody Testing?

Antibody tests for COVID-19 have a few limitations. False-positive or false-negative test results may occur in this test, which is inaccurate. If the antibodies are present for a more extended period, you will get a positive result even though you have been cured of the infection. Although antibody tests are most commonly used to detect infections with certain organisms, other tests can be used to detect and measure the exact level of antibodies present in your blood.

Who is a Candidate?

Antibody testing is usually performed to detect children, adults, and pregnant women. All age groups are candidates for this test, including newborns, infants, toddlers, and older children. You can also use it to diagnose infectious diseases in person who gives blood samples.

However, you cannot have an antibody test if you have a rare blood type or are severely anemic. If you have symptoms of infection with an antigen/foreign protein, make sure that your health care provider has ordered antibody testing for you.

In summary, antibody testing identifies an antigen or foreign protein in a specimen using antibodies. A specialist draws blood and uses a testing strip, buffers, and reagents to set it up during the test. The test detects antibodies linked with specific viruses and shows them as negative or positive. On the downside, this test is not accurate. Anyone can have the test except those with severe cases of anemia.