How coronavirus antibody tests work and why they matter | COVID-19 Special

How coronavirus antibody tests work and why they matter | COVID-19 Special

In the fight against the coronavirus, there is still one big unknown: how many people have actually contracted it, maybe even without showing any symptoms? One way to answer this question is through antibody tests. An antibody is a protective protein produced by the immune system to destroy harmful viruses and infections. When a pathogen enters the body, the immune system recognizes it and produces antibodies that dock onto the pathogen’s antigens to remove them. Later a blood test can be used to detect these antibodies in a person’s blood stream. Antibodies are also used in vaccines to make people immune to future infections. But immunity doesn’t last a lifetime in all cases. So what do we know about Sars-CoV-2? How long will people be immune after an infection?

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