COVID-19 Antibody Test Details
This test is not intended to detect a current COVID-19 infection.
Specimen type: Finger prick blood sample
Test type: Detects the presence or absence of COVID-19 antibodies
Testing location: Order online or pick up at select locations in New England. Currently only available for customers in Massachusetts.
Results: Within 48 hours of lab receipt
How Does It Work?
Order online or visit your nearest pharmacy to buy a kit
Available at: New England Urology, Allen’s Pharmacy, Conley’s Drug Store, Union Pharmacy, Letourneau’s Compounding Pharmacy
Activate your kit
Scan the QR Code on the sample card or access here to activate your kit and fill out the form.
Schedule your telemedicine to get tested
Receive your results via the secure Veritas portal
Like other currently available tests, this test has not been FDA cleared or approved, and has been authorized only for the detection of antibodies (specifically, IgG) in response to SARS-CoV-2 in human serum and/or plasma.
Any tests under EUA are only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for the detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a serology (antibody) test?
A serology test looks for antibodies in the blood. Your immune system makes antibody proteins to help fight infections. If you were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, a serology test will show whether or not you have developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies usually reach detectable levels in the blood about 10 to 18 days after symptoms start.
What is the accuracy of your antibody (serology) test?
Based on a clinical validation study of 30 confirmed positive serum samples and 80 negative serum/plasma samples performed at a federally funded NCI lab, the accuracy of this assay is 97.2% (95% C. I. 92.24% to 99.43%). You can find the Serology Test Evaluation Report from NCI here.
How are serology (antibody) test performed?
Serology tests are collected through a blood sample (such as from a blood spot, finger prick, or needle draw).
Which antibodies can a serology test detect?
A serology test can measure two antibodies called Immunoglobulin M (IgM) and Immunoglobulin G (IgG). IgM is produced as the body’s first response to a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Generally, IgM may provide short-term protection and can help tell if an individual has been recently infected. However, there is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgM antibodies are protected against future SARS-CoV-2 infections. IgG is the most common type of antibody. It’s made several days to weeks after being exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Generally, IgG remains in the body and may provide long-term protection against future exposure. However, there is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future SARS-CoV-2 infections.
When do IgG antibodies develop?
Based on the most current research, IgG antibodies develop around 15-21 days after infection from SARS-CoV-2.
What will a serology (antibody) test tell me?
An antibody test can tell you whether or not you have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), and if your your immune system has responded by making IgG antibodies. In the future, IgG antibody tests may be able to tell us whether an individual has immunity against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
What will a serology (antibody) test NOT tell me?
An antibody test cannot be used to diagnose COVID-19 nor does it show if a person is currently infected. If you are having symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently been exposed, you should get a molecular PCR test to see if you are currently infected with the virus.
What are there limitations to IgG antibody tests?
It usually takes around 15 to 21 days after being infected with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) for the body to produce enough antibodies for detection in the blood. Getting an IgG antibody test too soon after being infected may cause a negative result that is false (false negative). Additionally, IgG antibody tests may detect IgG antibodies from previous exposure to coronaviruses other than SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) . This can cause a positive result that is false (false positive). There is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infections.
What does a positive result mean?
A positive test result with the SARS-CoV-2 antibody test indicates that IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) were detected, and the individual has potentially been exposed to COVID-19.
Antibodies typically suggest protective immunity from further infection. However, evidence is still being collected to determine if IgG antibodies provide protective immunity against future SARS-CoV-2 infections.
There is also the small chance that this test can give a positive result that is wrong (a false positive result). It is not known how long antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 will remain present in the body after infection. and it is not known if they confer immunity to infection. If you have been previously diagnosed with or exposed to other types of coronaviruses, there is a possibility of a false positive. There is also a possibility of a false positive if it’s unlikely you had SARS-CoV-2 based on your exposure history or symptoms.
Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine how best to care for you based on the test results along with other factors of your medical history, and your symptoms, possible exposures, and geographic location of places you have recently traveled.
Your healthcare provider will consider the test result together with all other aspects of your medical history (such as symptoms, possible exposures, and geographical location of places you have recently traveled) in making a final diagnosis and deciding how to care for you. It is important that you work with your healthcare provider to help you understand the next steps you should take.
What does a negative result mean?
- A negative result means IgG antibodies were not detected in the provided blood sample.
- This may suggest no exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) or it may indicate that IgG antibodies have not yet developed. It takes approximately 15-21 days for the body to generate an immune response to COVID. If you test too soon, your body may not have produced enough IgG antibodies to be detected by the test yet. If that is the case, retesting may be needed.
- If you were recently diagnosed with COVID-19, were exposed to someone with COVID-19, or previously had symptoms of COVID-19, there is a possibility of a negative result that is wrong (false negative). In this situation, a molecular test for COVID should be considered as you may still have COVID.
- The risks of a false negative result may include unnecessary self-isolation and quarantine, activity restrictions, and other unintended adverse events.
- Your healthcare provider will consider the test result together with all other aspects of your medical history (such as symptoms, possible exposures, and geographical location of places you have recently traveled) in deciding how to care for you. It is important that you work with your healthcare provider to help you understand the next steps you should take.
- A negative result may not provide enough evidence to determine an individual’s risk and thus should not be used to rule out infection.
What does an inconclusive result mean?
An inconclusive result means the test was unable to confirm the presence or absence of IgG antibodies in the provided sample. This means that the results were neither positive nor negative. Testing will need to be repeated in order to confirm whether or not IgG antibodies are in the blood. This type of result may occur when there is not enough antibodies for the test to detect, such as performing the test too soon after becoming infected. This result can also happen if there was a problem with the blood sample or the test itself.
What does an invalid result mean?
An invalid result means the test could not be performed. Another sample will be needed to confirm the presence or absence of IgG antibodies. This type of result can happen if there was a problem with how the sample was collected or transported, or issues with the sample or test itself.
My serology (antibody) test was positive, but I’m still having symptoms. What should I do?
If you are having symptoms of COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider or local health department to get tested for active infection. The serology (antibody) test can only tell you if you have been exposed and have developed an immune response to COVID-19, but it cannot say whether you have an active infection. For that, you’ll need a molecular (PCR) test. Please click here to learn more about our Molecular test.
My serology (antibody) test was negative, but I previously tested positive for COVID-19 or was exposed. Is my result incorrect?
Getting an IgG antibody test too soon after being infected may cause a false negative result. It usually takes around 15 to 21 days after being infected with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) for your body to produce enough IgG antibodies to be detected in the blood. Some people may take even longer to develop antibodies or may not develop enough antibodies to be detected by the test. It is recommended that you contact your healthcare provider or local health department to see if re-testing is needed.
Can I take a serology (antibody) test to see when I can go back to work?
No. There is no test that can tell you when it’s right to go back to work. The decision to return to work should be determined by you, your healthcare provider (if applicable), and your employer based on a number of factors. Contact your employer for guidance about returning to work.
Can I take a serology (antibody) test to see if I can stop isolating?
No. There is no test that can tell you when to stop isolating. Check with your primary healthcare provider or local health department to help determine when it’s right to stop isolation. Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and Isolation.
Can I take a serology (antibody) test to determine when I can visit someone who is at risk for more severe symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e., those 65 years of age or older or someone with an underlying medical condition)?
No. There is no test that can tell you when you can visit someone who is at risk for more severe symptoms of COVID-19. Check with your primary healthcare provider or local health department to help determine when the time is right to make such visits. Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and isolation.