“Serological tests — which detect patient antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 as a signal of past or present viral exposure, and of possible immunity going forward — can’t be used to diagnose infections, but are viewed as a key to determining who can go back to work. The tests began to enter U.S. markets after the FDA’s March 16 guidance said they could be sold without agency review under certain conditions, and were available in Asia and Europe even earlier.” excerpt from https://federallabs.org/news/nci-brings-serological-test-validation-to-covid-19-fight
Watch Dr Paula discussing testing:
There are two main types of COVID-19 tests
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and serological, also called antibody or immune, testing.
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing looks for the presence of the virus’ genetic material (RNA) on a nasal or throat swab. These tests can tell whether someone has an active infection.
- Serological testing, a type of blood test looks, for the presence of antibodies produced by the immune system against SARS-CoV-2. Antibodies help the body fight an infection and are specific to a virus, bacteria, or other pathogen.
- “If [COVID-19] antibodies are present when you run the [serological] test, that means [a person] had the infection in the past,” said Dr. Juan Dumois, a pediatric infectious diseases’ physician at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, in a Newswise expert panel. Also, “those antibodies can be present in someone who may have been infected but never even had any symptoms,” he added.
- People with weakened immune systems, though, may not make these antibodies properly. After transmission, it can take several days for the body to produce antibodies to a virus. That makes serological tests less useful than viral RNA tests for diagnosing someone with COVID-19.
- But antibodies can last for a long time in the body, which makes them ideal for identifying whether someone had once contracted the virus — even if it was weeks ago.
- Serological tests have been called “immunity tests” because, in theory, a person who recovered from COVID-19 would be possibly immune to the virus, however we do not yet know this about the COVID-19 virus.
- Stephen J. Elledge, PhD, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, said if someone tests positive for antibodies to the virus — and is not in the middle of an ongoing infection — they likely contracted the virus previously and successfully fought it off. “Under those circumstances, they should be immune to this current version of the virus,” he said.
- However, because SARS-CoV-2 is new, many questions remain. How long will that immunity last? Do people who had mild or no symptoms gain the same protection? Will the virus mutate to overcome the body’s immunity?
- Researchers are starting to find some answers, but many may not be known for months or years.
- (Excerpt from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/how-antibody-testing-can-help-us-fight-covid-19#When-will-testing-be-widely-available?)
Testing at MIMI’s Clinic
We are now offering COVID-19 serologic testing in clinic as part of our “Your Immune Check-Up” Program. (Please note that as FDA guidelines are constantly evolving and changing our program offerings might as well.)
Who should schedule a “Your Immune Check-Up” visit and get tested?
- Anyone wanting to maximize their immune health
- Anyone preparing to return to work
- Anyone potentially exposed and concerned about protecting their family and general public
- Anyone concerned with unknowingly spreading the virus
- Anyone who was recently sick with symptoms and suspect COVID-19
- Anyone who has recently been in contact with someone positive for COVID-19 or has recently traveled
“Your Immune Check-Up” information & instructions
- The first step for your Immune Check-Up is to fill out the forms (patient information, symptom survey, current medication and supplement list, wellness survey and consent), available at the bottom of this page. We will need to review these prior to your initial appointment.
- Please return the forms by fax or email:
- By fax: 970-628-1624
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org please be aware that email is not HIPAA compliant
- Once we receive your paperwork we will call to schedule your initial phone or telemedicine appointment to discuss your situation and collect payment. Payment must be received before your appointment/testing will occur and will be invoiced via Square for contactless payment.
- After your phone/telemedicine visit we will schedule your testing appointment
- At your testing appointment we request you call, or knock on the back door of clinic, upon arrival to let us know you are here. We will greet you at your car.
- All patients need to be wearing a mask, or other face covering that covers nose and mouth, while in public and during testing. MIMI’s Clinic staff will also be masked and using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Testing will not occur without masks/PPE in place.
- For the point of care (POC) testing, we will meet you at your car to check your temperature and obtain your sample. If you have a fever or other symptoms your testing may be delayed. The sample is obtained from a finger stick to obtain a drop blood.
- 10 – 15 minutes after we obtain your sample your result will be available. You can either wait in your car or we can call you with your results.
- Your result will determine what steps need to be taken next:
- Negative results indicate that you have not been exposed or have not made antibodies to COVID-19 virus.
- Positive IgM means that you were recently exposed or re-exposed and you should follow self isolation procedures.
- Positive IgG means you were exposed longer ago or recently re-exposed and you should follow public health guidelines.
- Any result may necessitate further evaluation and testing by a medical professional.
- During this pandemic, ANY result requires that you continue to follow current public health recommendations.
- We recommend a follow-up appointment in 2-4 weeks to assess how you are doing and to follow-up on recommendations, treatments and any additional testing and/or interventions. This will be a phone/telemedicine appointment that we schedule when we inform you of your results, if repeat or additional testing is required we will then schedule an office visit.
Pricing: Initial and follow-up visits are currently priced at $75 each, and include evaluation, POC testing and recommendations to support your immune health.
**Please note that FDA guidelines are constantly evolving during this pandemic. We monitor these guidelines closely and will keep you apprised of any changes as soon as we learn of them.