Why the SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Test is not recommended to diagnose a current Covid-19 infection?
Written by Li (Joanna) Tang, MSc., revised by Artron Technical Team
Antibodies are produced by the B-Cells of the immune system to respond to infectious agents. Antibodies recognize the foreign invader in our body in order to trigger the following immune response to eliminate them. Vaccination can also trigger the immune system to produce antiviral antibodies. Once our immune system forms antibodies to an invader, it memorizes the specific antibody and produces it again when necessary.
Antibody test (also called serology test) can tell us the presence of antibodies ( qualitative testing) or the level of antibodies (quantitative testing). A positive SARS-CoV-2 antibody (COVID-19 serology) test comes from either a past infection with SARS-CoV-2 or vaccination against COVID-19. An antibody test uses a sample of your blood and may not tell if you’re currently infected by the virus, as your body takes one to three weeks after infection to make antibodies.
In BC, the SARS-CoV-2 antibody (COVID-19 serology) test is not available for routine clinical use and is not recommended to diagnose a current infection with the COVID-19 virus because of the reason mentioned above.
Antibody tests are only recommended under one of these circumstances, including a limited number of clinical scenarios, public health investigations with the guidance of Medical Health Officers, and epidemiologic and research studies. For more information, please visit Health Canada’s Information for patients: A guide to self-testing for COVID-19
Artron supplied COVID-19 Antigen test kits to the federal government and Health Canada. We are always willing to continuously help and support local communities and local healthcare organizations by providing our COVID-19 products in the future. For more information, please contact our sales department or call us at 604-415-9757.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2022. Using Antibody Tests for COVID-19.
2 Lifelabs. N.D. COVID-19 Antibody Testing.
3 Labcorp.2022. COVID-19 Antibody levels: More may be better.
4 BC Centre for Disease Control. N.D.SARS CoV-2 Antibody Testing (COVID-19 Serology).
5 Government of Canada. 2021. COVID-19 antibody (serology) testing: Information for patients.