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Atlanta COVID-19 Rapid Antibody Testing
COVID-19 antibody testing looks for acute and long-term antibodies associated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19) in the blood.
Antibody testing allows patients, doctors, and researchers to understand who has been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Getting routine antibody tests helps doctors and researchers understand how long COVID-19 antibodies remain in the body.
At Atlanta Men’s Clinic, we’re committed to reducing the spread of COVID-19. We are an official COVID-19 testing site in the United States having tested thousands of patients throughout the pandemic. Our nurses have unparalleled frontline experience administering tests and treating patients with COVID-19 across the country. Now, we’re bringing this experience to provide the COVID-19 rapid antibody test to all clients and their families. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, we also perform PCR (nasal swab) diagnostic testing to meet airline and country specific travel requirements. PCR test results are some of the fastest in metro Atlanta and take just 48-72 hours.
What are Antibodies?
Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system. Antibodies are specific to each particular illness. For example, antibodies for COVID-19 are not the same as antibodies for chickenpox. When the immune system recognizes a harmful pathogen (like a virus), it sends antibodies to locate and eliminate it from the body.
IgG Antibodies vs. IgM Antibodies
The body releases different antibodies throughout the course of infection. The first antibody the body makes is called the IgM antibody and is released between 4 and 7 days, but can be seen as early as 2 days, after infection. IgM antibodies do not provide long-term immunity.
Another type of antibody the body makes when infected with a disease is called the IgG antibody. IgG antibodies typically develop about 2 weeks, but can appear as early as 7 days, after infection and stay in the body after recovery. IgG antibodies are what give people immunity. It is not yet known how long COVID-19 antibodies remain in the body and if someone who has been infected is immune to future infections.
What do the Results of a COVID-19 Rapid Antibody Test Mean?
If you test positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies:
- You likely were infected with the virus at some point. If you never experienced symptoms of COVID-19, you may have had an asymptomatic infection.
- Continue to protect yourself and others from infection. It is unknown if individuals who have already been infected can be reinfected.
If you test negative for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies:
- You may not have been infected with the virus.
- It is possible that you were infected with the virus but your immune system has not yet developed antibodies, and you may need to get another antibody test in a couple of weeks.
It is unclear as to whether someone who has already been infected with SARS-CoV-2 can get reinfected. This is why regular testing throughout a pandemic is important.
How does antibody test work?
At Atlanta Men’s Clinic, we conduct COVID-19 rapid serum antibody testing using a drive-through testing method—patients can go through the entire testing process while staying in their car. Patients will provide a small blood sample using nothing but a finger prick. The blood sample is transferred to a test strip and the results are ready in 15 minutes. If the results of your test are positive, we also perform a PCR (nasal swab) test.
COVID-19 Antibody Testing for Your Family
At Atlanta Men’s Clinic, we provide COVID-19 antibody testing for your whole family. Antibody testing can help you and your family understand who, if anyone, has been infected with SARS-CoV-2. Consistent antibody testing can be important for kids who are returning to school.
COVID-19 Antibody Testing for Employees
We also provide testing services to employers who wish to provide regular antibody testing for their employees, including healthcare workers who are on the front-lines. The detection of antibodies may help employers understand the infection risk to their employees in the workplace. Routine antibody testing can especially benefit businesses in the hospitality industry, law firms, hotels, gyms, country clubs, and hair and nail salons, to name a few.
COVID-19 Antibody Testing for Events
Events can pose a significant risk of virus transmission. If you have an upcoming even, such as a wedding, consider getting guests tested before the event.