Testing For COVID-19 Exposure: Antibody & T Cell Testing
COVID 19 antibody testing and T cell testing can be used to determine prior infection with COVID 19 and infer possible immunity to COVID 19. Emcura Medical has offered FDA authorized COVID 19 antibody testing immediately after it was brought to market! We now offer T Cell testing through Adaptive Biotechnologies in Seattle, Washington.
What is Antibody Testing?
Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system in response to an infection and are specific to that particular infection. An IgG antibody is the long-term memory antibody, like a book in a library. When an infection occurs, this antibody is referenced, then copied exponentially to produce a large amount of proteins that will ’coat’ the virus, preventing the virus from attaching to your body’s cells. These are called neutralizing antibodies. The presence of antibodies may indicate resistance to repeat infections. Antibodies can be produced as early as 2 weeks after an infection but a Cleveland Clinic study indicated that SARS-CoV-2 infections induced a slower antibody response than normal. Due to this, and other studies, we are recommending patients wait 3-4 weeks after a suspected infection for more accurate antibody testing. Our antibody testing is 100% sensitive and 99.7% specific, giving you accurate results. We use the Abbott Architect system in use nationally and is FDA EUA Authorized! This is a blood test (vein blood draw and not a fingerstick sample) and is designed to detect antibodies (IgG) against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
How do I schedule a test?
Our antibody testing process is easy and safe! Make an by calling Emcura. We do this to space patients apart and to maintain a safe environment. Once you arrive, identify yourself to the front desk staff, and you will be taken to a room for your blood draw. Do not come to your appointment if you are experiencing any symptoms for COVID 19 per the CDC; if you have been exposed to a COVID 19 positive known case; if you have been exposed to possible/ pending COVID 19 case. We will draw your labs and call you back when they arrive.
I am COVID 19 antibody positive. What does this mean?
A positive antibody test means you have been exposed to SARS CoV1 virus that causes COVID 19 and you have developed an immune response. We are still deciding what a positive test means. There are theories where a person may remain immune for a least 3 months after exposure, but this has not been proven.
What is COVID 19 T cell testing?
COVID 19 T cell testing can be used to determine prior infection with COVID 19 and possible immunity to COVID 19, especially if antibody testing has been inconclusive. T cells are the first responders of the immune system and will persist in your blood long after antibody responses wane. T cells are very specific, but cross reactions to other coronaviruses your immune system faced in the past may confer protection to COVID 19 today! In fact, 5 months after an initial infection, T cell reactivity persisted in 95% of COVID 9 patients, while antibodies started to wane (52-71%).
The T- Detect test is 99% specific. It is designed for those who were never tested for COVID 19 immunity status, were tested but you do not trust your results, and if one still has persistent symptoms of COVID 19 (> 10 days after symptom start).
Emcura Medical is one of the first in the area to offer T cell testing immediately after it was brought to market! We would suggest also performing an antibody test to provide additional information.
How do you schedule a T- Detect T-Cell Test?
- Go to Adaptive Biotechnologies to review all test materials. Once you are satisfied, please go to T-detect.com to order your test. You will purchase the test directly from the laboratory.
- On T-detect.com, click on the ‘Order Now’ button, then ‘From your Physician’, then ‘Your Local Provider’ for blood draw method. Confirm that you are over 18 and complete the Patient Information section. There is a notice mentioning the need to contact your Drs office. This is not needed as we will provide the script during your visit. Once you submit all information and payment, a confirmation code will be provided. We will need this code to provide on your prescription for submission back to the company. Your kit should arrive within 3 business days.
- Once your kit arrives, schedule a vist at Emcura.com. Click on the Antibody/ T cell option. At your visit, make sure you bring your test kit as we do not have additional tests onsite. Click here to schedule an appointment.
- At your visit, we will review your COVID history and discuss options for you. We wil provide the prescription required for your test, and add your confirmation code to our prescription. We will perform your blood draw for the T-Detect test (and add an optional COVID 19 antibody test at a local lab if desired). Once completed, we will send the completed test kit to Adaptice Biotechnologies on your behalf. The results will return in 7-10 business days.
- Emcura Medical will call with your results and discuss their interpretation. Your visit with us with be billed to your insurance as a COVID-19 Exposure visit.