Covid-19 test kits, antibody vs. antigen

The Antibody Test

The Covid-19 antibody test uses blood from a pin prick whereas the antigen test uses material gathered by a nasal swab.

A woman undergoes a blood draw procedure at a clinic in Fairfax Virginia.
Photographer: Obi Onyeador | Source: Unsplash

With the antibody test one looks for 2 types of antibodies, IGM and ICG. IGM is very active within the first day of infection. So if you're have IGM, we know that you have a current ongoing infection.

The presence of ICG antibodies indicates that you have essentially a very strong immunity to the corona virus. This usually appears about two weeks after you were infected. This signals that your body is fighting back with a stronger form of an antibody.

The Covid-19 Antigen Test

With the antigen test, using a swab, one is looking for proteins created by the coronavirus. However this antigen, is very similar to many different types of other virus proteins. So there's a lot of false positives that tend to happen with this type of Covid-19 test. On the other hand, testing for antibodies the detection is very specific, very sensitive and more accurate. So that's the real distinction between the two types of tests.

an employee is taking a swab test for covid-19
Photographer: Mufid Majnun | Source: Unsplash

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