Antibody (Serology) Testing at Cedars-Sinai

We are proud to participate in important research on antibody testing to gain a better understanding of the body's immune response to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. We still have a lot to learn about what these tests tell us about COVID-19, but here is what you need to know now. 

What is antibody testing?

After exposure to bacteria, viruses, foreign proteins and vaccines, our body's immune system reacts and forms various antibodies to fight infection. Antibody testing does not diagnose COVID-19, but these tests can determine if a patient may have antibodies against the virus that causes it. Even if you have antibodies, it is still not known if they protect you from infection or for how long you will have immunity.

The antibody test WILL:

  • Give researchers a better understanding of the body's immune response to COVID-19
  • Inform studies of how far the pandemic has progressed in our community
  • Help us understand more about asymptomatic COVID-19 patients as a part of public health research
  • Identify recovered patients who may be eligible to donate convalescent plasma to aid in treatment for COVID-19 patients
  • Help researchers learn about whether those with antibodies can be reinfected with COVID-19

The antibody test WILL NOT:

  • Diagnose whether you are currently infected with COVID-19—only a diagnostic test can determine whether there is an active infection
  • Determine whether you have immunity to COVID-19, how long the immunity might last or whether you can be reinfected
  • Allow you to abandon physical distancing, face covering and hand washing precautions

About antibody testing at Cedars-Sinai 

Cedars-Sinai is participating in COVID-19 antibody testing, in close cooperation with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. 

Because the tests are mainly used for public-health studies rather than for immediate medical needs, the antibody test is unlikely to be covered by your health insurance provider and you may be required to pay cash for the test. We are not offering antibody testing for patients or members of the general public with no suspicion of recent infection at this time. Your primary care provider can advise you on whether an antibody test is appropriate for you. 

If you suspect you may be infected with COVID-19, please contact your primary care provider, who can provide next steps for your care and determine if you should seek a diagnostic test.