University of Utah Health conducting antibody testing at ARUP Laboratories
University of Utah Health announced this week that it is conducting COVID-19 antibody testing through ARUP Laboratories.
The ARUP test is called the COVID-19 IgG, by ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). The test evaluates serum from a blood draw. In outlining how the test works, the University of Utah said that results are reported as “positive” or “negative” for the presence of IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, the test report offers an index value that can be used to measure antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 and to evaluate response to the virus over time with repeat testing.
COVID-19 is brand new in the human population,” says Vincente Planelles, PhD, a virologist at University of Utah Health. “We still have a lot to learn about how to protect ourselves both as individuals and as a society.”
If a test result comes back positive, it means the patient was exposed to COVID-19 and developed an antibody response to the virus. Even still, a positive test does not indicate immunity nor does it reveal when or where the patient was exposed. Contact tracing efforts are underway in Utah.
A negative test result means the antibodies to the COVID-19 virus were not detected in the patient’s sample. According to the University of Utah, this lack of detection could mean that exposure hasn’t taken place, the patient’s exposure was too recent for an antibody response to develop, or that exposure did not result in significant antibody development.
University of Utah Health providers are permitted to order an antibody test for patients based on specific criteria including “if the patient was previously undiagnosed with a respiratory illness or had close contact with a diagnosed COVID-19 patient but did not develop symptoms or did not get tested for COVID-19.” After consulting with a patients, providers are tasked with determining whether an antibody test is appropriate.
ARUP Laboratories is a national clinical and anatomic pathology reference laboratory and a nonprofit enterprise of the University of Utah.