Covid 19 Antibody TestAbout
Covid 19 Antibody Test
COVID-19 antibody tests can help identify people who may have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus or have recovered from a COVID-19 infection.
About the COVID-19 Antibody Test
As of August 2021, more than 80 antibody tests have been granted FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Scientists are using these antibody tests to learn more about the level of antibodies needed to protect people from COVID-19 (threshold of protection) and how long this protection lasts. Antibody tests are not currently recommended by FDA for routine, widespread use in making individual medical decisions while this information is being gathered and evaluated. If you have questions about whether an antibody test is right for you, talk with your healthcare provider or your state or local health department.
Not all antibody tests identify the same antibodies. Some antibody tests are more or less sensitive to specific sections of the antibody protein than others. This means that different antibody tests might not have the same results, even when they are both testing for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Scientists use these differences in tests to help answer different research questions about how immune systems respond to the virus that causes COVID-19 and to improve our understanding of COVID-19.
As scientists learn more about the antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, we will understand a lot more about how to treat and control COVID-19.
Serological surveillance (studies that investigate antibodies in the population) provides information about how long antibody protection against COVID-19 lasts and if this protection is different among people who have antibodies from infection, compared with people who have antibodies from vaccination, or both.
We can also learn more about which groups of people might not produce as many antibodies or maintain them as long as others—for example, immunocompromised people compared with people who have healthy immune systems. This is important information for making decisions about whether or not additional vaccine doses or boosters are needed, when they would be recommended, and who would need them first.
We can also learn if antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 provide the same protection against new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.
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