Antibody test question

Posted by dianerd @dianerd, Apr 18, 2021

Can the Covid-19 antibody test distinguish antibodies from the vaccine from antibodies from a past Covid-19 infection? In other words, if you take the antibody test after receiving the vaccine can it tell you that you had a Covid-19 infection before being vaccinated?

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@dianerd Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

It looks like you already received an answer to your question from a member.

May I ask if there is a particular reason you would like to know if you were exposed to COVID-19 previously, other than curiosity of course?

In reply to @dianerd "Thank you" + (show)

I was wondering the same thing! Thank-you.


@dianerd– Good morning. I actually did some more digging. I think that the problem with answering this lies in the fact that one test does not do the job for both. You actually need two tests. This is what I found:

There are laboratory tests available to detect human coronaviruses. For COVID-19, viral tests can detect current infection, and antibody tests can detect the previous infection. However how reliable these tests are at this point in time is somewhat questionable because after having the vaccine, if you haven't had the actual virus you could get a negative result from the vaccine. @thomason 's link is great and I do recommend reading it.

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