PicMed is one of the first U.S. medical clinics to provide testing that follows FDA guidelines for COVID-19 antibodies. By providing this test, PicMed hopes to help patients determine if they have been exposed to the virus.
If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 such as a fever of over 100.3°F or a dry cough, you will not be able to enter the laboratory. This is an antibody test used to detect the presence of antibodies, not to diagnose active infections.
About Our COVID-19 Antibody Test
This serology blood test identifies the presence of antibodies that indicate that a person had an immune response to COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2). A positive result to this antibody (IgG) test indicates that you may have had previous exposure to COVID-19 and your body has developed antibodies.
Although It may take up to 14 days after the onset of symptoms for antibodies to be developed within the body, 91% of people develop such antibodies within the first 8-13 days. Some people infected with COVID-19 will never exhibit symptoms but will have a detectable antibody response. While there is belief that the presence of antibodies may provide immunity to future infections, there is not yet enough data to state this conclusively.
As the FDA has indicated, antibody testing has the potential to help healthcare professionals identify people who have been exposed to COVID-19 and may have developed an immune response,” said Brian Mochon, PhD, D(ABMM), Scientific Medical Director, Infectious Diseases Division. “In addition, the FDA has indicated that antibody testing can help identify those who could contribute a part of their blood, called convalescent plasma, which may provide an avenue for possible treatment for those who are seriously ill from COVID-19.
What is an IgM and what is an IgG? Upon infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the patient’s immune system tries to fight the virus by producing blood- circulating molecules known as antibodies. IgM is a class of antibodies that appears early after an infection (as early as 3-5 days).
IgM is the body’s first line of defense against a foreign antigen. IgG is another class of antibodies that appears later and gradually replaces the IgM antibodies.
Usually, IgG antibodies appear in the blood circulation within 3-4 weeks after initial infection. The presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgM and/or IgG antibodies in the blood of a patient is a strong indication that the patient has been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus but not actively communicable.
Who should get the test?
All interested persons who have had NO COVID-19 related symptoms for the last 10 days are good candidates for this test.
Patients with any active COVID-19 related symptoms (fever over 100.3°F, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath) should not purchase this test and instead contact their primary care physician or a local hospital for a COVID-19 diagnostic test.
To protect laboratory staff, please remember to wear either a face mask or some other form of face covering, like a scarf, when arriving at the clinic. Please also refrain from visiting the clinic if you have had symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 10 days as you may still be contagious.
PicMed can arrange high volume COVID-19 antibody testing for a workforce. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how we can administer a back to work screening event.
Is this a blood test or a swab?
This test requires a blood draw because it detects IgG antibodies in the blood. Antibodies in the blood indicates a previous exposure to COVID-19. It takes up to 14 days after exposure for antibodies to be developed within the blood. The blood test is considered far less invasive and uncomfortable for the patient when compared to the nasal swab method of collection.
Is this an at home test?
A. No, this requires a venipuncture by a healthcare professional and will be tested in a CLIA certified high complexity lab
How is your test different from other rapid at-home antibody tests?
This testing service is based on a newly released test system from a national lab. A complete independent validation study has been performed on this test. This test can aid in detecting the presence of immunoglobulin class G (IgG). Although IgG antibody response typically develops within 14 days after onset of symptoms, 91% of people develop antibodies within 8-13 days. Some people infected with COVID-19 will never exhibit symptoms.
Is the testing method authorized by the FDA?
The instrumentation used in the testing process is included on the FDA’s list of authorized equipment and the lab follows all FDA guidelines related to the testing.
Does PicMed accept insurance for this testing?
Insurance is NOT currently being accepted for this service.
PicMed urges you to follow up with your primary care physician or a local hospital for a COVID-19 diagnostic test if you believe you may have an active infection. If you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, please call 911.