Covid-19 Antibody Testing

ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF HEALTH & WELNESS

Brighton Dental is proud to be now offering antibody testing to determine COVID-19 exposure. The test detects antibodies that indicate the patient has been exposed to COVID-19. It is a standard blood test that must be performed in-person at our office with results taking 10-15 minutes to come back and will help identify those who have already been infected and may have immunity.

Our COVID-19 IgM/IgG antibody test is a lateral flow immunochromatographic assay for detection of SARS-CoV-2 IgM/IgG antibodies in human blood, serum or plasma specimens. This accurate antibody test differentiates IgM and IgG immunoglobins (antibodies) specific to SARS-CoV-2 in a single test, rapidly and affordably.

How much does this cost?
Our office charges $100 for the antibody testing, and it is not covered by insurance.

How is this test done?
Upon arrival at the office, you will fill out some paperwork in our waiting room.  Once you complete the paperwork, one of our staff will bring you to an exam room where they will perform the test.  The antibody test requires just a quick finger poke and a small amount of blood in order to run the test.  Once the sample is collected, the test will be ran in our office and you are free to go!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Should I get the COVID-19 antibody test?
If you experienced COVID-19 symptoms more than 10 days ago you are eligible for COVID-19 antibody testing. The test will determine if you were exposed to COVID-19 and may indicate immunity.

How does the test work?
The test is a standard blood test to see if you have IgG or IgM antibodies. It is FDA sanctioned via FDA Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease-2019, and will be run using the EUA authorized RightSign IgG /IgM test. Recipient information for the RightSign IgG /IgM test can be found here on the FDA's website. The test typically turns positive 14 days after symptoms begin.

The antibody blood test technology includes a Lateral Flow Chromatographic immunoassay for the detection of IgM and IgG antibodies. Positive results for both IgG and IgM can occur after infection and can be indicative of acute or previous infection.  A positive IgM test is indicative of an active or very recent infection with COVID-19. A positive IgG test indicates a previous infection that is no longer active.

What do I need to do before getting testing?
Assuming you meet the testing criteria you should call our office at 619-640-5100 to book an apopintment at Brighton Dental. When you go to your appointment, you must be symptom free, you MUST wear a mask, and they will check your temperature to make sure you don’t have a fever. You will get your results in 10-15 minutes.

How accurate is the test?
The RightSign Covid-19 IgG/IgM test has sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 100% , PPV of 100% , and NPV of 100%  according to an independent evaluator  and the FDA.

What if my COVID-19 antibody test result is positive?
A positive test means you have had the virus in the past, at least two weeks prior to the test and that your body has antibodies to the virus. This often means that it is likely that you are immune to the virus, but it is not known this for sure. We also don’t know how long the antibodies last in your system.

What if my COVID-19 antibody test result is negative?
A negative test means that antibodies were not detected in your system. Either you have never been infected, your infection was recent (in the last 14 days), or you may have had the infection but your immune system did not produce antibodies (due to weakened immunity or for other reasons).

What if my COVID-19 antibody test result is negative?
A negative test means that antibodies were not detected in your system. Either you have never been infected, your infection was recent (in the last 14 days), or you may have had the infection but your immune system did not produce antibodies (due to weakened immunity or for other reasons).

What are antibodies and how are you testing them?
Antibodies are made by your immune system to detect and fight foreign invaders. The ones we are testing for are made specifically for COVID19. The two antibodies tested – IgG, IgM help the test be more sensitive (see the chart below). Your body makes different antibodies throughout the course of fighting this disease. IgM is the early antibody, made within the first 3-5 days, with production decreasing around day 10-17, as we see serum levels diminish. IgG (the long-term immunity antibody) is made last, starting production around day 7. The presence of IgG is indicative of longer-term immunity to the virus, however at this time we have no idea of how robust that immunity is, or how long it will last. We are hopeful that as antibody testing becomes more available, and more research is being done, that people with IgG antibodies will be able to return to work and life outside the home and also donate their plasma to help fight the disease.

Am I still contagious if I have antibodies?
There are no large-scale studies correlating the presence of antibodies and how contagious you are with the virus. At this time, everyone should follow CDC guidelines on isolation procedures which currently say that you should isolate for 14 days and be asymptomatic (no fever for three days and seven days since first symptoms) before coming out of isolation. We can infer at this time (with current data and the CDC recommendations) from the timing of the antibody reaction, that if you are asymptomatic for three days and have IgG it is safe to come out of isolation. If, however, you have IgM only, you should assume you have recently been exposed to the virus and need to isolate for 7-14 days out of an abundance of caution.

If someone receives a positive antibody test result – and knows the results are correct because they were formerly diagnosed with COVID-19 – are they now immune from catching it again?
After exposure to bacteria, viruses, foreign proteins and vaccines, our body's immune system reacts and forms various antibodies to fight infection. Antibody testing does not diagnose COVID-19, but these tests can determine if a patient may have antibodies against the virus that causes it. Even if you have antibodies, it is still not known if they protect you from infection or for how long you will have immunity.

Immunity is determined by whether “neutralizing” antibodies are present in your body. Neutralizing antibodies find the virus, prevent it from infecting your cells and inhibit its ability to cause illness. The current tests on the market make no claims regarding their ability to identify neutralizing antibodies. Your immune system may have launched a response to the presence of the virus in your body, but the testing cannot guarantee that the response included neutralizing antibodies. Therefore, such tests cannot determine immunity. What’s more, we still have much to learn about COVID-19 and cannot be certain that people who have recovered from COVID-19 are immune from becoming infected again. Regardless of whether you receive a positive or negative result, you must continue to take precautions to protect yourself and those around you. This includes practicing social distancing, wearing a mask outside the home, washing your hands often and self-isolating if you become exposed to someone with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms.

What is the difference between antibody testing and diagnostic testing?
An antibody test is a blood test that looks for signs of a previous COVID-19 infection. A diagnostic test looks for signs of an active, current infection. The preferred diagnostic test is still a nasopharyngeal (through the nose) swab. This test can be performed at one of UCLA Health’s almost 30 test locations and sent to an UCLA in-house lab for testing.

What do I need to know?
The most important thing for patients to know is that while antibody tests can provide important information to researchers and groups making public health policies, they are not yet useful to the general public as a means of confirming a prior COVID-19 infection or providing information about immunity.

Because these tests are not perfect, it is important to continue to follow evidence-based steps regardless of antibody test results to prevent infection.

  • Keep physical distance – at least 6 feet or more from others
  • Wear a cloth face covering when you must go out in public
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds
  • Monitor yourself and your family for COVID-19 symptoms

DISCLAIMER

  • No testing is considered 100% accurate. Additional testing may be required.
  • Negative result does not definitively rule out SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  • Follow-up testing with a molecular diagnostic test should be considered to rule out infection.
  • This antibody test result should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection or to inform infection status. Additional testing may be required.
  • Positive result may be due to past or present infection with non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strains, such as coronavirus HKU1, NL63, OC43, or 229E.
  • All results should be reviewed and discussed with your healthcare professional. Additional testing may be required.

 

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