PCR? Antibody? IgG/IgM? What’s it all mean?

nurse wearing protective gear at a computer workstation

National media has recently included a significant amount of coverage regarding different types of COVID-19 testing and its effectiveness. Virology, serology, polymerase chain reaction, nucleic acid amplification, nasopharyngeal, anterior nares…it’s hard to know what the various tests mean unless you’re a physician! Keeping terms like PCR, antibody, and IgG/IgM is difficult.

As businesses are tasked with ensuring a healthy workplace during the pandemic, managers are often faced with potential workplace outbreaks. They must consider what types of testing, if any, are appropriate for their needs. If you have a group of employees fall ill with COVID, should you implement testing for other employees who were in close contact? If you do implement testing, what type should you use?

At Mobile-Med, we approach this issue like we approach all of our occupational health services. We break down the technical data into readily accessible and understandable options so that you can make an informed decision and keep your workplace safe.

Do you need to learn more about how various testing options impact your business operations and the health of your employees? If an employee wants to return to work with a clear antibody test, does that mean they don’t have COVID-19? We work with our client partners on issues like this every day.

Meet one of our Nurse Practitioners, Brianna, who can tell you a little bit about the difference between antibody testing and PCR testing:

Video Transcript:

Hi, my name is Brianna Singleton and I’m a

Nurse Practitioner at Mobile Med Work Health


There are two options for COVID-19 testing.

Viral Testing and Antibody Testing.

Viral Testing looks for a current infection while

Antibody Testing looks for a previous infection.

Viral Testing, also known as a PCR test looks 

for the virus that causes the COVID-19 infection.

This may be considered if people are 

experiencing symptoms,

Or have been in close contact within 6 feet for

At least 15 minutes with someone diagnosed

With COVID-19.

Antibody Testing is a blood test that looks for a

previous infection.

The finger prick test detects antibodies in

someone who has the infection at least one

to three weeks ago.

Some People may take longer to develop

antibodies. Other people may not develop them

at all.

Both the Viral Test and the Antibody Test are

both great testing solutions.

Please call us, or visit our website at mobile-med.com

so we can help you determine which

testing strategy is right for your organization.

Work Health Solutions

Work Health Solutions

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Work Health Solutions is dedicated to preserving a safe work environment and improving existing programs and care for local, regional and national organizations.

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