May 6, 2020
Antibody blood tests, also called antibody tests, check your blood by looking for antibodies, which show if you had a previous infection with the virus. Depending on when someone was infected and the timing of the test, the test may not find antibodies in someone with a current COVID-19 infection. Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infections. Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose someone as being currently sick with COVID-19. To see if you have a current infection, you need a viral test, which checks respiratory samples, such as a swab from inside your nose.
Antibody tests are available through healthcare providers and laboratories.
Check with your healthcare provider to see if they offer antibody tests.
For healthcare professionals
For information on evaluating and testing, see recommendations for reporting, testing, and specimen collection
CDC is evaluating commercial tests
CDC is evaluating the performance of commercially manufactured antibody tests in collaboration with other government agencies. FDA has authorized emergency use of several antibody tests.
For more information:
CDC is conducting serologic surveillance
CDC is looking at data from antibody tests to estimate the total number of people who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the United States. CDC is also using antibody testing to learn more about how the body’s immune system responds to the virus and to explore how the virus spreads among people exposed to it. The information CDC is looking at comes from many groups, including blood donors and household contacts of people who had symptoms and were diagnosed with COVID-19.
CDC is supporting state, local, tribal and territorial laboratory capacity.
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