FAQ: COVID-19 Antibody Testing

What is antibody testing?

Antibody testing checks a sample of a person’s blood to look for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. These antibodies are produced when someone has been infected, so a positive result from this test indicates that person was previously infected with the virus. We do not know yet if the antibodies that result from infection with SARS-CoV-2 can protect someone from reinfection with this virus (immunity) or how long antibodies to the virus will protect someone.

Is IHC doing COVID-19 antibody testing?

No, at this time we have decided not to offer the LabCorp blood test to detect antibodies.

Why isn’t IHC doing COVID-19 antibody testing?

All tests occasionally result in false positive or false negative results. Sometimes the results are not definitive. Interpreting antibody tests can be complicated and they don’t always provide useful information. At this time antibody testing is mostly used for contact tracing by the CDC and is limited in the information it can provide to individual patients. We do not feel that the information provided in a result would be especially helpful at this time.

Will IHC be offering COVID-19 antibody testing in the future?

We are always exploring options for services to provide to patients for their healthcare related questions. As sensitivity and specificity improves and we are able to provide better information we will revisit offering this type of test.