It is a well-established concept
in medicine that antibodies produced in response to infection confer some degree of later immunity. Patients who
have, or suspect they have, been infected with the coronavirus are seeking antibody testing so they may conclude they can
be re-exposed without risk.
We recommend that if you are considering this option that you schedule time to speak with a healthcare
professional to determine if the testing is medically appropriate for you or your family.
· False positive
rates are unknown. While the FDA gave 12 companies
clearance to sell antibody tests, these companies did not have to prove accuracy. In fact, recent questions on accuracy
led the FDA to announce that all companies selling tests must submit data proving accuracy or face removal from the
· Immunity level and
duration is not understood. The presence of antibodies
should confer some immunity, but it is unknown for sure the degree or duration of immunity conferred against Covid-19. For
comparison, antibody protection to the related SARS virus are protective for only about 2 years.
Antibodies for one strain may not protect against another. Pre-publication studies suggest the virus may have mutated, so antibodies to one strain of COVID-19 may not protect
from other strains in the community.
Please contact the lab centers directly with any questions regarding their antibody
testing. Each lab has a patient resource page(urls below).