COVID-19 Antibody vs Antigen Tests - Role in Community Testing

Knowing why the antibody and antigen test is being conducted in a great number have more clarity on findings & the next step.

Godavari Doke

Godavari Doke

CrelioHealth for Diagnostics (formerly LiveHealth)
We believe life is better with real personal connections, caring communities, and a sense of play.

Antigen & Antibody tests are rapid testing procedures performed on blood samples to detect antigens & antibodies for an illness. For nCOV disease, they are recommended for community testing aiming to detect, trace and contain the virus amongst symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Know testing guidelines.

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However, there is still a lot of fuss about the test and its role in SARS-CoV-2 detection. Read above to know each of their importance for controlling the pandemic.


Basics of Antibody Test to detect COVID-19

Antibody test indicates if a person has already been exposed to a pathogen related to a specific illness. Our body takes time to develop antibodies IgM & IgG (immune response) against an infection, hence, this test is not carried out to detect current infection but used especially to detect the duration it can last in a person’s body; tracking the spread.antibody-test-diagram-01For COVID-19, the antibody IgM response elevates two weeks after infection, whereas the antibody IgG response elevates three weeks after infection. This test can tell us the difference between IgM and IgG levels, giving us more info on the phase of infection. Also, antibody test for COVID-19 identifies individuals that were longer or severely infected and those who were immune, as a consideration for plasma donation.

This test is not recommended for COVID-19 diagnosis but for Sero-surveillance or Contact Tracing only

Basics of Antigen Test to detect COVID-19

Antigen test detects when a person is currently infected by a pathogen like coronavirus. In case of a recovered case, the antigens disappear.

This rapid test is recommended to diagnose COVID-19 in patients. However, if the results of a symptomatic coronavirus patient is Negative, RT-PCR test becomes mandatory for confirmation & further analysis.antigen-test-diagram-01 (1)

As both these tests provide results rapidly, they are preferable to control coronavirus spread for community & remote areas as compared to RT-PCR test.

LiveHealth LIMS offers mobile workflows to conduct Rapid testing for SARS-CoV-2 at scale. You can get your Lab ready in 15 mins for COVID-19 testing using LIMS.