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What we know about COVID-19 antibodies so far

What we know about COVID-19 antibodies so far

COVID-19 threw the world into severe disarray, there’s no denying it. Many months have passed since the first case in the UK and there is still so much to learn about the infection. But new research has shed more light on COVID antibodies and we thought it would be helpful to distil some of that information for you.

 

What are COVID-19 antibodies and will I definitely have antibodies if I’ve had COVID?

Infections trigger a response from our immune system – antibodies are proteins that are developed in order to help the body fight the infection.

If you had COVID-19, you might have developed these antibodies at some point.

Not everybody develops IgG (long-term) antibodies, however. The presence of antibodies correlates with the severity of the illness primarily. We have found that people who had mild COVID symptoms often test negative for IgG antibodies – this is probably because some people fight off the virus with their primary defence system and do not need to generate IgG antibodies or the quantity generated is lower than detection thresholds.

 Can I test for antibodies after my COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, you can. We’ve written a recent post about this here.

What does research tell us about COVID antibodies post-infection?

  • We know that we shed the antibodies over time. A large Spanish study of 60,000 people showed that approximately 15% of people shed their antibodies within 2 months while antibodies decline over time in everyone else.
  • A recent study done by the Imperial College London suggests that the antibody triggered by COVID-19 wanes over time.
  • Even though the antibody response might decrease over time, research suggests that the severity of a future COVID-19 infection may be significantly reduced.

 

What COVID-19 antibody tests are available?

We have three options for testing with comparable reliable accuracy:

Surescreen rapid COVID antibody test cassette – this is a finger-prick test with an instant result.

Abbott antibody test – this a full blood draw test that is sent to our laboratory with results in 24 hours.

Roche “vaccine antibody test” – this is a full blood draw test that also provides a quantitative result. Ie. It tells you how many antibodies you have. This is suitable for testing after vaccination.

Leave a Comment

  • Anne Balmer says:

    I’ve had both Pfizer vaccinations. I am a 73 year old woman. We run a care home and the whole family has been vaccinated. We have purchased Ctk Biotech on-site rapid tests which also show antibodies. I am the only one in the family who shows no antibodies including my husband who is 74. Is this normal? And do you have a different antibody test? I’d appreciate very much your advice. Thank you

    • Alya Shakir says:

      Dear Mrs Balmer, thank you for your query. We would recommend the Roche Quantitative Antibody test post-vaccination. We would be happy to conduct this for you. Please call 020 7323 1023 and our team can help you.

  • Chas Biebs says:

    I am on Prednisolone for Polymyalgia currently 10mg. I’ve had the 2 Pfizer jabs but no one knows whether people on steroids can produce the anti bodies. Would the anti body test provide the answer?

    • Alya Shakir says:

      Hi Chas, an antibody test would definitely confirm whether or not you have developed antibodies. It cannot, however, speak to wider immunity markers. I hope this helps.

Award
What we know about COVID-19 antibodies so far
What we know about COVID-19 antibodies so far
What we know about COVID-19 antibodies so far
What we know about COVID-19 antibodies so far
What we know about COVID-19 antibodies so far
What we know about COVID-19 antibodies so far
What we know about COVID-19 antibodies so far
What we know about COVID-19 antibodies so far
What we know about COVID-19 antibodies so far
What we know about COVID-19 antibodies so far
What we know about COVID-19 antibodies so far
What we know about COVID-19 antibodies so far
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