What is a neutralizing antibody titer test?
A COVID-19 antibody test is a neutralizing antibody titer test. This is a quantitative test that is designed to detect SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies of all immunoglobin (Ig) classes in serum or plasma produced by your immune system from either the introduction of a COVID-19 vaccine, or from a previous COVID-19 infection.
What is the purpose?
Testing for antibody levels can give insight into your own personal resistance and immunity to the virus. This is a good way to identify whether a vaccine has been successful in encouraging antibody production, or if your immune system has produced the antibodies after a previous COVID-19 infection.
If the antibodies are present and in large quantities, then they will bind to the virus' spike protein and you will have a higher chance of preventing the virus from entering the cell.
If antibodies are not present, there is a higher risk of infection occurring.
How is this different from other antibody tests?
Other COVID-19 antibody tests do not detect neutralizing antibodies. Instead, they evaluate antibodies that bind to various parts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and are total antibody or immunoglobulin-specific (IgM and/or IgG).
This COVID-19 antibody test offered at Emcura Medical detects the antibodies that have blocking (neutralizing) function against the entry of the virus.
Can this determine an acute infection?
No - this test cannot be used to determine nor diagnose an acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. This test is used to detect the antibodies produced by the body, not the virus itself.
If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, we offer nasopharyngeal swab testing to determine an infection.
How does the test work?
The test is performed by collecting a blood sample via a venous blood draw (not a finger prick). These samples will be sent to a laboratory for testing.
What is the science behind the test?
The samples are run through a lateral flow test that detects antibodies. There are two proteins that the antibodies have: a spike protein and a nucleocaspid protein. Antibodies for the spike protein are more important, however, as they are indicative of the body's ability to resist and defeat infection. The test will detect the presence of the antibodies for the spike protein.
What type of information is given in the results?
The results will be sent via email.
The test will give:
- A positive or negative results for the presence of antibodies ("Do I have antibodies?")
- The quantity of antibodies given ("What is the volume of antibodies were present in the blood sample?")
- A percentage that gives the compares the presence of antibodies to the volume of blood ("How do I stack up"?)
The most important value is the percentage. We look for a value of 80% or higher in patients, which means the patient is protected against the symptoms and severity of the COVID-19 virus. If the value is lower than 80%, Emcura Medical suggests getting the COVID-19 booster vaccine whenever possible.
How can I receive this test?
The test is available upon request at all clinics. No appointments are necessary.
When should I expect my results?
The blood samples are run on Tuesdays and Thursdays and results are typically released on those days.