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Serology Testing for COVID-19: What to Know

Wayne Whitehurst May 20, 2022

With the prevalence of COVID-19 testing, many might already know the different diagnostic tests such as the PCR and rapid antigen test used to detect whether an individual has an active coronavirus infection. Both are considered essential instruments in preventing the spread and further transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

However, people might not be quite familiar with serology testing. A serology or antibody test can determine whether COVID-19 has previously infected an individual. Its results have another purpose different from the mentioned diagnostic tests. 

While it has no use when it comes to finding individuals who are currently infected with the virus, its results are used by the UK’s National Health Service or the NHS to improve their understanding of how an individual’s body reacts to the virus and how it spreads.

Additionally, it can detect if the body has created antibodies after being previously vaccinated against COVID-19. It is essential to note that not everyone can take an antibody test as it is reservedfor specific groups only. For people residing in the UK and wants to get a serology test, they might be eligible given that they are taking part in the following:

Results from a serology test might take up to 3 to 7 days and are usually sent by text or email. A positive antibody test result means that the test had detected COVID-19 antibodies. On the other hand, a negative antibody test result means that the test did not detect any.

Antibody testing helps the NHS and research scientists to learn more about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its spread. It cannot tell if a person has an active coronavirus and is not valid as a fit to fly COVID test.

Read this infographic from Harley Medic International to learn more about the topic.