What is a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Antibody (Serology) Test?

This is a blood test. It is designed to detect antibodies (immunoglobulins, IgG, and IgM) against the coronavirus that causes the disease called COVID-19. Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system in response to an infection and are specific to that particular infection. They are found in the liquid part of blood specimens, which is called serum or plasma, depending on the presence of clotting factors. IgM and IgG may either be ordered together or separately.

Why is having an antibody test helpful?

  • your health care provider believes you may have been exposed to the coronavirus which causes COVID19 based on your current or previous signs and symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, difficulty breathing);
  • you live in or have recently traveled to a place where transmission of COVID-19 is known to occur;
  • you have been in close contact with an individual suspected of or confirmed to have COVID-19; or
  • you have recovered from COVID-19.

What is an Antibody Test for IgG?

This test detects IgG antibodies that develop in most patients within seven to 10 days after symptoms of COVID-19 begin. IgG antibodies remain in the blood after an infection has passed. These antibodies indicate that you may have had COVID-19 in the recent past and have developed antibodies that may protect you from future infections. It is unknown at this point how much protection antibodies might provide against reinfection.

What is an Antibody Test for IgM?

This test detects IgM antibodies. IgM is usually the first antibody produced by the immune system when a virus attacks. A positive IgM test indicates that you may have been infected and that your immune system has started responding to the virus.  When IgM is detected you may still be infected, or you may have recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection.

How much does it cost and will my insurance cover?

Most insurances are covering the cost of the visit as well as the test. There is no co-pay.  *Self-pay rate is a $125