Can COVID Antibody Test Be False Negative?

December 17, 2020

Can COVID Antibody Test Be False Negative?

The COVID-19 serology test is a blood test to see if you have a SARS-CoV-2 infection in the past, a virus that causes coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19). You can’t tell whether you have the COVID-19 virus at the moment.

Antibodies are proteins formed in response to an infection by your immune system. The immune system, involving a diverse cell, organ, and tissue network, detects foreign substances within your body and helps to prevent infections and diseases. It may take around two to three weeks after an infection of the COVID-19 virus to produce adequate antibodies that will then be identified during an antibody test.

Can COVID Antibody Test Be False Negative?
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After you recover from COVID-19, antibodies can be present in the blood for several months or more. Although these antibodies potentially provide some immunity against the COVID-19 virus, there is currently insufficient evidence for knowing how long the antibody will last or the degree to which previous infection with the virus will help protect you against infection.

While rare, some cases of reinfection are reported and suspected. COVID-19 experiments and other immune system components are continuously studying immunity.

Risks of current COVID-19 Antibody Test

COVID-19 tests may not always be precise, particularly if the test is performed too early after infection or when it is questionable for the quality of the test. Many manufacturers have hurried to market antibody tests with no monitoring. The United States now. Administration of food and drugs publishes data on the success of some antibody tests online.

Testing of antibody COVID-19 can lead to false or false negative results of testing:

  • False-positive result. The test result is positive, but you actually don’t have antibodies and you did not have an infection in the past. A false-positive result could give you a false sense of security that you’re protected from getting another COVID-19 infection — and even with a true positive result, immunity is questionable.
  • False-negative result. You have antibodies to the COVID-19 virus, but the test does not detect them. Or you’re tested too soon after infection and your body has not had time to develop antibodies.

Results to Expect

COVID-19 antibody test results could be:

  • Positive. A positive test means you have COVID-19 antibodies in your blood, which indicates past infection with the virus. It’s possible to have a positive test result even if you never had any symptoms of COVID-19. False-positive test results can occur. It may be that the test detected antibodies to a coronavirus closely related to the COVID-19 virus or that the test quality was flawed.
  • Negative. A negative test means that you have no COVID-19 antibodies, so you probably were not infected with the COVID-19 virus in the past. Because it takes time for antibodies to develop, false-negative test results can happen if the blood sample is collected too soon after your infection started. In some cases, the test may be flawed.

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Can COVID Antibody Test Be False Negative?

Can COVID Antibody Test Be False Negative?
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Rajat Singh

Rajat Singh is the Editor-in-chief at Bioinformatics India, he is a Master's in Bioinformatics and validates all the data present on this website. Independent of his academic qualifications he is a marketing geek and loves to explore trends in SEO, Keyword research, Web design & UI/UX improvement.

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