Tests both IgM (acute-active) and IgG (past infection-immune)
*Please note: at this time, a blood draw must be scheduled with the phlebotomist at TAO and this test is for patients of TAO only. If you would like to become a patient of TAO, please call 860.228.1287 or learn more online.
The COVID-19 Assay test detects IgM and IgG antibodies to COVID-19. This test is distinct from the PCR culture (nasal swab) test since it determines if you have had COVID-19 in the past or currently have it by evaluating your immune system response to the virus through antibody production (IgM/ IgG). This test is critical due to the prevalence of asymptomatic and mild cases that were not tested AND for those cases that were contracted prior to the availability of testing. PCR culture testing will only detect an active infection, not a past infection. The production of antibodies to COVID-19 suggests natural immunity to the virus.
- Method: Simple blood draw to detect IgM (acute) and IgG (past) infection
- Turnaround time: 24-48 hours
- Cost: $199 (Includes blood draw, specimen processing, overnight shipping, kit processing, and results)
Why Test Antibodies?
Antibodies have been found to be a highly sensitive biomarkers in infectious disease diagnosis, previous studies on SARS, MERS and more recently the ones on SARS-CoV2 have shown IgM antibodies to appear about the 3rd day from infection and IgG antibodies appear after 8 days. Profiling an individual’s antibody response is the only way to determine infections with few or no symptoms.
The kit detects 2019-nCoV IgM and IgG antibodies by immuno- capture method. The nitrocellulose membrane is coated by mouse-anti human monoclonal IgM antibodies, mouse-anti human monoclonal IgG antibodies, and goat-anti-mouse IgG antibodies. The recombinant 2019-nCoV antigen and mouse IgG antibodies are labeled with colloidal gold as a tracer. The antibodies will bind to colloidal gold-coated 2019- nCoV antigens to form compounds, which are further captured by pre-coated mouse-anti human IgM antibodies to form new compounds, and generate purple line (T). The binding of colloidal gold-labeled mouse IgG antibodies with goat-anti-mouse IgG antibodies will present purple line, which is used as the control line(C).
What is the COVID-19 Assay?
It is a test that detects antibody production to COVID-19 (SARS2 Coronavirus). It includes both IgM (acute/early stage/active) and IgG (later stage/past) antibodies.
What is the difference between the standard PCR culture (nasal swab) test being offered at drive-through locations and this COVID-19 Assay test?
The Nasal swab test is a PCR test that looks for the actual antigen (viral genetic material from the COVID-19/SARS 2 Coronavirus). This test is only useful if you have an active infection (the virus is currently in your body). The COVID-19 Assay is looking for your immune system response to the virus by detecting antibody production to the N protein on the CORONA-19/SARS 2 Coronavirus. IgM antibodies are seen early in infection and IgG antibodies later in infection and after the infection has resolved.
What is the advantage of having the COVID19 Assay test?
PCR cultures (nasal swab) tests are being reserved for patients with severe symptoms matching COVID-19 infection. Many people who were infected may have been asymptomatic to the virus, had very mild cold-like symptoms or had severe symptoms but were not able to be tested for various reasons- so they have no idea if they had COVID-19 or not. These people would have a natural immunity to the virus now and knowing that is important for peace of mind and proving immunity.
Who is able to be tested?
Anyone who is NOT symptomatic (no fever or acute symptoms) and is also a patient of TAO. If you are not a patient but would like to become a patient, please call the front desk to schedule a New patient appointment 860.228.1287.
Why can’t I come to TAO to be tested or for an appointment if I am symptomatic and how can I still get tested?
We are taking every precaution to keep TAO Center a safe and healthy place for our patients, doctors and other staff. If you have a fever or have ANY URI symptoms, we are asking all of our patients to stay home to minimize the spread of any microbes. We will work with you over the phone and via telemedicine services. Additionally, we will mail you the kit and you can call a mobile phlebotomist to come to your home to draw your blood and process your kit or you can take it to any other lab that agrees to draw it for you. I would call ahead to make arrangements with that lab instead of just showing up because they do not have to draw it for you- it would be a courtesy.
What is included in the test kit price $199?
Your COVID-19 test kit fee includes blood draw by TAO’s phlebotomist, processing of your specimen, overnight shipping via fed ex, test kit, and processing of test kit, interpretation of results.
Can I have the test billed to insurance?
No, KMBO does not take insurance for their testing kits. You may submit the bill to your insurance company and depending on your out of network laboratory benefits, you may be able to be reimbursed.
When/where/how can I have the test done?
Testing can be done at TAO Vitality in Hebron CT on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This is done by appointment only. Appointments can be made by calling 860 228 1287. At this point, we are reserving kits for those who are patients of TAO. To become a patient call 860 228 1287.
Dr. Myriah Hinchey