COVID-19 antibodies don’t necessarily mean immunity

Coronavirus: Antibodies don’t necessarily mean immunity

If you’ve had a cough or felt under the weather, an antibody test could confirm that you had COVID-19.

The test looks for antibodies in your blood, which your immune system makes to fight off infections, but if you test positive that doesn’t mean you’re now immune to the virus, WJAX-TV reported.

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Dr. Matthew Thompson, the director of Telescope Health, said that researches still don’t know if you’re protected.

“I wish I could definitively say that having the presence of the antibodies, you have long-term immunity,” Thompson told WJAX-TV.

A positive result would make you eligible to donate convalescent plasma.

Susan Forbes, the senior vice president of corporate communications and public relations for OneBlood blood donation centers, said doctors are using the plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to treat those patients who are sick.

"By identifying more people with the antibody, it will only further ensure that a ready supply of convalescent plasma is ready at all times," Forbes said.

Doctors said if you test negative, it could mean that you were never infected with COVID-19 or you were, at one point, producing the antibodies and lost them over time.

It could also mean you were infected and your immune system never made antibodies or just didn’t make enough for a test to detect.

Health experts said regardless of if you test positive or negative for antibodies, you should still follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by practicing social distancing, wearing mask and practicing good hygiene.

Many blood donation centers are testing donors for COVID-19 antibodies.

A medical worker wearing a protective suit takes a blood sample from a local resident during a study to analyse the presence of Covid-19 antibodies on May 20, 2020 in Kupferzell, Germany. The study has been launched in cooperation with the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's main agency for the prevention of the spread of infectious diseases, and seeks to gain data on what portion of the local population carries the Covid-19 antibody in communities where coronavirus infection has spiked. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
A medical worker wearing a protective suit takes a blood sample from a local resident during a study to analyse the presence of Covid-19 antibodies on May 20, 2020 in Kupferzell, Germany. The study has been launched in cooperation with the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's main agency for the prevention of the spread of infectious diseases, and seeks to gain data on what portion of the local population carries the Covid-19 antibody in communities where coronavirus infection has spiked. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)