The COVID-19 antibody or serology test looks for evidence of past infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. As it involves a blood sample, it is also known as the COVID-19 blood test.
Previously in BC, antibody testing for COVID-19 was limited to public health and research use. However, LifeLabs now offers a private pay version accessible to the public. This version looks for the presence of total antibodies (IgG, IgM, IgA) but does not quantify amounts or distinguish between them. At this time, a test specific for the COVID-19 IgM antibody is not available in British Columbia.
Please note that coronavirus serological tests are not recommended for routine clinical use in British Columbia at this time. This is in part due to the low prevalence of COVID-19 locally leading to a higher false positive rate with the current testing technology. There are many outstanding questions regarding the use of antibody tests and the interpretation of their results.
Anyone considering antibody testing is encouraged to consult BCCDC's FAQ page for more information to make an informed decision.
To obtain a COVID-19 antibody test, you will need a lab requistion from a physician. As the test is not medically indicated, neither the test itself nor the consultation to request the test are covered by MSP.
Please follow the steps below if you would like to speak to our doctors about obtaining COVID-19 antibody testing privately.
If you have questions about our service, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.