Antigen vs. Antibody Testing: What’s the Difference?
You’ve likely expanded your vocabulary over this past year—for example, you may have learned the definitions of quarantine and incubation, and you probably found out where your nasopharyngeal cavity is. But, do you know the difference between COVID-19 antigen and antibody testing? Let’s take a closer look.
COVID-19 antibody testing—or serology testing—does not screen for an active coronavirus infection. Instead, this blood test screens for antibodies created by a past infection. Antibodies are special proteins that are produced by the body’s immune system in response to a foreign substance, such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus that’s responsible for COVID-19. Testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies indicates that you previously had a COVID-19 infection.
Antigen testing screens for a current COVID-19 infection. Involving either a nasal or nasopharyngeal swab, this test looks for specific proteins related to an active SARS-CoV-2 virus. Antigen testing is often referred to as “rapid” since it typically provides results within 24 hours.
Rapid Antigen Testing at Fast Track Urgent Care
Fast Track Urgent Care’s fully equipped immediate care clinic in Silver Spring, Maryland, offers multiple types of COVID-19 tests, including rapid antigen testing that delivers same-day results and saliva-based PCR testing. If you’d like to receive a rapid COVID-19 test, contact us today or click here to schedule a Virtual Visit, during which we’ll arrange a time for you to visit our urgent care clinic for drive-thru testing. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give our friendly professionals a call.