What Are Antibodies?
Antibodies are proteins developed in response to an illness or a vaccine. Antigens and antibodies work in tandem to create an immune response to combat substances the body recognizes as foreign or problematic.
The body’s immune system develops these responses after infection with bacteria, viruses, or fungi. They function as an important part of the body’s overall immune response, but they are also used to determine the presence of an immune response and previous infection from an external pathogen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies the different types of immunity available following vaccination and infection.
Antibodies and Illness
Antibodies are important both in the determination of an illness and the fight against an illness. Certain antibodies indicate the presence of certain immune responses and the body will produce antibodies in specific ways following different types of infection. Antibody levels are important in determining how severe an illness is and how effectively the body is actively fighting infectious diseases.
Antibodies and COVID-19
SARS-CoV-2 antibodies have been the subject of great debate and interest as the pandemic has raged across the world. Antibody testing has existed for a long time within the pandemic and was at one point considered an important test for limiting the reach of COVID-19.
Measuring how the body is able to develop antibodies in cases of COVID-19 can help determine how the body responds to the coronavirus as a whole. Antibodies can help identify the best course of action in measuring the incidence of infection with the virus and how the body is most likely to respond.
Current Research on COVID-19 Antibodies
Although research regarding COVID-19 has largely pivoted in favor of COVID-19 vaccines, efforts have continued to persist in testing how immune to COVID-19 people are after becoming infected with and subsequently recovering from the virus.
How Long Can COVID-19 Immunity Last?
The duration of immunity continues to be up for debate. Some studies have suggested that natural immunity can last as long as 10+ months following infection. Some have determined that immunity following vaccination peaks at 3-4 months before experiencing a steady decline, necessitating an additional booster shot. Other studies continue to show mixed results.
As a result of the continued uncertainty regarding COVID-19 immunity after you’ve recovered from COVID-19 or received a vaccination, governing bodies continue to recommend vaccines and subsequent boosters to maintain an effective immune response and minimize the likelihood of severe disease.
Can I Get COVID-19 Again?
Yes. Prior infection does not necessarily indicate that you are no longer susceptible to infection. What it does mean, however, is that subsequent illness is not likely to be as severe, or may even be asymptomatic. Different variants may also play a role in determining the likelihood of re-infection. The delta variant, for instance, may be more equipped to evade immune responses than other variants.
COVID-19 Antibodies and Subsequent Risk
The presence of COVID-19 antibodies does not necessarily indicate that re-infection is impossible. It may lessen the risk of reinfection, or may lessen the likelihood of severe illness should reinfection occur. Ultimately, the presence of antibodies, whether resulting from infection or vaccination, does indicate that the risk of serious illness is less than in individuals without exposure.
COVID-19 Antibody Testing Near You
Getting a positive test result can provide some insight into the presence of an old infection or an effective uptake of a vaccine. Antibody tests measure your body’s response to a COVID-19 infection. They may also be used to determine your body’s response to vaccination several weeks or months after your final dose. Rapid Care offers serology tests.
If you are in search of rapid antibody tests in Germantown and Memphis, TN, schedule your appointment today!