In the midst of a societal upheaval resulting from the novel coronavirus and the disease that it causes, COVID-19, there are many efforts in progress to find solutions to slow the spread of the disease and treat those who already have it. One area that has been gaining traction over the last few weeks has been antibody testing.

Sandstone Health is aware of the number of inaccurate tests that have flooded the market in recent weeks, many of which falsely claimed they had FDA approval. Only a handful of tests have actually been approved by the FDA, which is why we have not offered the test to our patients. We needed to find a reputable company which was either FDA approved or almost guaranteed FDA approval in the near future.

As important as antibody testing is needed, we have learned in the past that moving too quickly before the evidence is available may not be beneficial to the patient seeking an accurate answer. After several weeks of researching and patiently waiting, we have found a test that we would stake our reputation on its accuracy.

Antibody testing will not only provide us with more accurate data of the number of previous infections in our population but may allow us to know if a person has a potential immunity against future infection.

According to the FDA, COVID-19 antibody testing may indicate that “the person has been exposed to the virus and developed antibodies against it, which may mean that person has at least some immunity to the coronavirus.”

It is important to note that although immunity is expected, it has not been proven as to how long the immunity lasts or if it exists at all. Furthermore, antibody tests by themselves are of limited value in the immediate diagnosis of a patient where COVID-19 infection is suspected.

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    Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, has partnered with medical diagnostics giant Abbott, to provide antibody testing for coronavirus (COVID-19). Dealing with companies as reputable as Quest and Abbott, we can be certain of the validity and credibility of the test,” says Dr. Tony DeRamus, CEO and Chiropractor of Sandstone Health. “Our major concerns with providing an antibody test is accuracy and cost.”

    As far as accuracy, Abbott’s clinical data exhibited a sensitivity of 100%, and a specificity of 99.5% which is far better than the majority of the self-reported test available today.

    How much does the antibody test cost?

    “Patients will be happy to know that unlike many of the antibody tests now being performed, the test provided through Quest Diagnostics can also be billed to their health insurance,” according to Amanda Rosales, nurse practitioner at Sandstone Family Medicine. For patients without insurance, self-pay options are also available.

    How does the antibody test work?

    This test checks for a type of antibody called immunoglobulin G (IgG) that is the result of past or recent exposure to COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus. The human body produces IgG antibodies as part of the immune response to the virus. It usually takes around 10 to 18 days to produce enough antibodies to be detected in the blood.

    Test results may help identify if you were previously exposed to the virus and, if exposed, can check whether or not your body has produced antibodies. Antibodies typically suggest protective immunity after you’ve recovered or been exposed to COVID-19. However, evidence is still being collected to determine if IgG antibodies provide protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 infection.

    • If you were never diagnosed with COVID-19, this test can help determine if you may have been previously exposed to the virus.
    • If you were diagnosed with COVID-19, this test can check whether or not your body has produced antibodies.

    Multiple sources, including the CDC and healthcare experts, recommend you discuss your test results and whether to return to work with your healthcare provider and employer.

    This test may be helpful if you: 

    • Have had a positive test for COVID-19 and it has been at least 7 days and you want to know if you have detectable levels of IgG antibodies
    • Have not experienced a fever or felt feverish in the last 3 days
    • Have not experienced new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 10 days: loss of smell or taste, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, feeling weak or lethargic, lightheadedness or dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea, slurred speech, and/or seizures

    This test may NOT be helpful if you are: 

    • Feeling sick or have had a fever within the last 3 full days, please contact a healthcare provider
    • Trying to diagnose COVID-19, please contact a healthcare provider
    • Less than 7 days since being tested for and diagnosed with COVID-19
    • Directly exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days
    • A person with a compromised immune system, a condition that makes it difficult to fight infections


      • Note: This test can sometimes detect antibodies from other coronaviruses, which can cause a false positive result if you have been previously diagnosed with or exposed to other types of coronaviruses. Additionally, if you test too soon, your body may not have produced enough IgG antibodies to be detected by the test yet, which can lead to a false negative result. 
      • At this time, antibody testing is mainly used in studies to determine how much of the population has been exposed to COVID-19. There is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future COVID-19 infection. Positive or negative antibody tests do not rule out the possibility of COVID-19 infection. Results also do not provide any information on whether you can spread the virus to others.