UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

COVID-19 Antibodies: What are they and what do they do?

Morgan Jeremy, Reporter

As COVID-19 continues to dominate conversations, it’s important to clear up misconceptions surrounding one aspect of the virus, antibodies. Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions about COVID-19 antibodies: what they are and what it means for you. 


An artist’s illustration of antibodies (blue-green structures) attempting to latch onto the antigens on the outer surface of a coronavirus (red). Antibodies are one of the major players in the immune system’s attack against viruses. (Image courtesy of DARIAREN/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES PLUS)

What are antibodies?

Antibodies are a group of proteins known as immunoglobulins responsible for locating and attacking foreign substances in the body. These foreign substances, known as antigens, attach themselves to specific white blood cells known as B lymphocytes, causing them to divide. This causes them to transform into plasma cells, which then secrete millions of antibodies. Those antibodies travel through the body’s blood and lymph systems, hunting for the source of those antigens. When the antibodies find an antigen, they latch onto it and alert the immune system to send more antibodies to destroy the pathogen.

How do you know that you have the antibodies?

You can know you have the antibodies by taking a COVID-antibodies test, available from healthcare providers and laboratories, or through a blood test and donating blood. 

I tested positive for COVID-antibodies. What does that mean?

A positive antibodies test means that you have antibodies from an infection with the virus, which causes COVID-19. According to the CDC, there is a chance that a positive result means you have antibodies from a disease with a different virus from the same family of viruses (called coronaviruses). 

I have the antibodies; that means I’m immune, right?

Not exactly. While having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 may grant some protection from being infected again, this is not certain. Scientists are still researching to see if this immunity is possible and, if so, for how long. Regardless of whether you have the antibodies or not, you should always follow CDC guidelines, wear a mask, and practice social distance. 


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

About the Contributor
Navigate Left
  • UNF logo.


    ‘Under new leadership’: UNF announces new associate dean of MedNexus

  • The Osprey Cafe, often called the dining hall, is situated on the southern part of UNF’s campus, close to the dorms. (Photo courtesy of the UNF dining website)


    Cockroach found in Osprey Cafe chips by student was an “isolated incident,” UNF dining manager says

  • The Red Zone is a heightened time of sexual assault on college campuses occurring from the beginning of the Fall semester to Thanksgiving break (Photo edited to appear red).


    From now till Thanksgiving, staying safe during “the Red Zone” at UNF

  • (Graphic created by Spinnaker. Mask cartoon courtesy of visual/Unsplash.)


    OPINION: Mask mandates belong in 2020

  • A yard sign by the Student Union advertising upcoming programming about the Red Zone at the University of North Florida. (Carter Mudgett/Spinnaker)


    The Red Zone is approaching: a higher-risk time of year for sexual assaults

  • The University of North Florida entrance sign with a green palm tree behind and purple and white flowers in front.


    Asbestos found during UNF’s remodel of Building 10 removed, given all-clear

  • A screenshot of the EPAs Fire and Smoke air quality map as of 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19, 2023.


    Canada wildfire smoke stretches low across U.S., far as North Florida

  • UNF logo


    Scabies cases at UNF rise from 13 to 16

  • Student Health Services and the Brooks College of Health at the University of North Florida as seen from above.

    Covid-19 Shared stories

    The future of the world’s new normal after COVID-19

  • UNF logo


    Over 300 UNF freshmen dorm residents notified of possible exposure to scabies

Navigate Right

Comments (0)

Spinnaker intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, slurs, defamation, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and will be removed if they do not adhere to these standards. Spinnaker does not allow anonymous comments, and Spinnaker requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All UNF Spinnaker Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *